Oh Life, you and your sneaky ways. I’m glad I give you so much to laugh about in our endless dialog.
Me: “I’ve worked so hard. I’m never not working. I’m almost there, just a few more turns up the mountain before I reach the top and have You all figured out.”
You: unable to speak through howling laughter
One of the things about breaking down walls, old habits, old beliefs, old identities and old stories is that you have to be prepared to sit with what’s on the other side.
And what exactly would that be?
Big. Fat. Nothing.
And what I mean by that is that underneath all the old stories, thoughts, patterns and perceived pain that we invite into our daily lives is…drum roll…The Present Moment.
I know, I know. That’s the thing that we spiritual seekers are told is the Mecca of our journey. It’s the holy grail. It’s the pot of gold at the end of a freaky fucking rainbow.
Well, let me tell you, first hand, at least initially it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. Because when you’ve torn everything down, torched it all, there is a huge wide open space. Bigger than you can imagine. That’s great, right?
Well, sort of.
Because when you no longer have the option to use old stories as your identity, that means you can no longer can use the old stories as an excuse not to be your truest self. The past now is no longer relevant. And if you are calling yourself out on your shit and letting go of bad habits, that means you no longer can call up your bad habits to go for a round or two. Which means you can throw distractions out the window, so you have to be…your truest self. And if you are embracing total trust and faith (as I have, completely), that means all fear naturally drops away. Gone. Which means that when you think about the future, there is really nothing to be afraid of, so you can’t fall back on the debilitating ‘what if’ either.
Which means that you are pretty much right here, right now. Which is not really all it’s cracked up to be. At least not initially, though I sense it can only get better from here.
Because when you’ve spent your entire life (even in some small way) blaming the past (and living there), worrying about the future (and living there), you have never…actually…ever FULLY been here now. At least not for more than a quick visit here and there.
And, now, speaking from personal experience, being here in the moment is a kind of peaceful, normal, basic, everyday experience. Which feels kind of confronting. Because when you are used to the drama and turmoil of always having a problem to solve, a goal to reach, a person to blame, or a worry about the future – and all of that vanishes – you get to inhabit YOURSELF fully, which is the most expansive, mysterious, beautiful, hi-nice-to-meet-you-I’ve-never-fully-known-you places to be.
I know I’m meant to be here. I know this is ‘all I’ve worked for.’ But now I’m feeling naked without my old identity to insulate me. There is no veil, no place to go, nothing to do. Just be.
Which, I suppose is a perfect metaphor for spring…entering the garden with nothing but your own skin, plucking flowers, dipping a toe in the river, finally feeling around for what this whole thing is really about.