What if you knew, that in a few weeks, months or years, you’ll look back on your life, as it is right now, and think: “Oh right! It totally makes sense now! That’s why I had problem x! This is why I was struggling!” – It would make learning to be ourselves, to be fully present with life as it is, so much easier and a lot less scary.
But you don’t know. So you freak out, you panic and you suffer. Every single time, it seems. – What can we do about it, you ask?
Well, suffering, no matter what kind, always has the same impact. We want to run as fast as we can and don’t look back. But sages of all traditions have known for centuries, what psychology is suggesting in our modern and postmodern era: You can’t run from yourself!
So turn towards your inner world and look closely at what is going on. See the patterns, the motives, the background and the whole beautiful mess, that is you! – And then most importantly: Learn to be with all that!
If you could trust, that what you experience is not the end of the world and you are not doomed, but rather blessed with an opportunity to learn who you are, you would maybe struggle a little less. Even just a little less pain and some more faith in this possibility go a long way.
In my experience suffering and a lack of trust in yourself and the world is what keeps us stuck the most because we give up on ourselves and others. So try building up that trust, that perspective, which follows a different narrative than the one your fear-and-worry-mind provides you with.
It does not have to be a delusional hope instead. It can be just allowing what is, accepting how life is. Pema Chödrön puts it beautifully in “When things fall apart”:
“Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty. We can’t simply relax with ourselves. We hold on to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment. We feel that someone else knows what is going on, but that there is something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world.”
I definitely see myself often meandering between the poles of hope and fear. Sometimes I fall back into strong patterns of fear and panic. That’s just how I grew up. And I struggle most with it because I want to get the hell out of there. ASAP, please! But running around like a headless chicken has never helped anyone. – Sometimes extensive periods of hope come in to give me the strength to go on. It’s like a little rest along the way. Wonderful, I’ll take it. But I have to watch out. Otherwise, I won’t want to make another step, won’t allow life to pass through me and just want to hold on to this fairy tale I made up in my mind.
So leaving fear and hope behind, we set out to seek a different kind of narrative, which goes something like: “You are enough, right now, right here!” or “Just wait, see and allow everything to be as it is.” – And on and on. There are a thousand different ways this voice has been expressed. It’s a treasure map that waits to be used by you.
And while you can’t hear that voice inside yet, surround yourself with fodder for a life, that is about learning and growing in a state of awe rather than in total agony. It’s possible! So many others have done that before you. For as long as womankind has existed.
In this day and age, we even have an advantage no generation had ever before: All the information and inspiration we need, all the resources and people are just one click away. There is so much neat material out there. Be sure to check out the forget-me-nots-section for some good stuff! And as for the people that you want to surround yourself with, that have the same aim and focus – you’ll find them along the way.
I also believe, that you already know more than you think! And this voice, that trusts, that is curious about the world, that wants to expand and find out about the mysteries ahead of you and get a joy out of you dancing your very own dance with life, you are just remembering it. Until one day you’ll start hearing it loud and clear and you’ve found a great supporter – for life!
How do you get support to be able to relax more and more into the present moment? Can you leave that worry-mind-narrative behind without getting into the other extreme of thinking life is just a fairy tale with a happy ending for you? Can you stay real?
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