I believe that as humans, we get comfortable with the way things are. We focus on external forms and factors in our lives, and believe that all that is around us in terms of belongings, jobs, money, and relationships, are the meaning of life. And yet, we feel unsatisfied, unfulfilled. Even if the circumstances of our lives are painful, and even if we keep choosing behaviors that are either unhealthy or dysfunctional, it is as if we cannot help it. We have learned to become comfortable with the overwhelm, and what we know if often preferred to what we don’t know.
It isn’t our fault; we are taught from the time that we arrive that the forms of everything is what is real, what exists. So, even though when we are born, we know deeply who we Are, we are then taught slowly and methodically that we are not our sipiritual essence, but that are very identity is formed and solidified by all that we possess or become. So, then we spend dozens of years building a form life that for many, becomes increasingly unsatisfying. That isn’t because it is bad to have things like a house, a nice car, enough money to live well, or satisfying relationships. The problem is in seeking all of those things as the source of our continued contentment. It stops working after awhile, and many of us start to participate in the schedule of our lives, which slowly stop having any real meaning.
I was thinking today about what I believe was the most unhappy time of my life. I had just left a very unsatisfying relationship, and was sharing custody of my child with their other parent. I was in an apartment, working three jobs to make enough money to make it, and many months living off my credit cards. I was drinking heavily every single night, watching television until I was numb, and feeling unloved and unsatisfied. Then, I got the shingles, which was probably the sickest I have ever been. I remember distinctly that I wanted to die.
When I reflect on that now, I believe that some of the biggest factors in feeling that way was that I equating my happiness, or unhappiness, with the quality of the form of my life, or rather, the perceived quality of it. I had many things to be grateful for; yet believed that I was missing out on a full life, at the same time I was sure that I didn’t deserve it. And, I was looking for it all outside of myself. I had not started on the diligent and arduous journey of looking within and knowing that was the only place I would ever find true peace, joy and contentment.
And, honestly, it took a few more tries before I really got upon that road of remembering my true nature. I didn’t give up, and I stopped believing that in the midst of dissatisfaction, looking to an alternate form outside of myself was the way to find it, through belongings or a relationship. I now deeply understand that in order to live the highest quality life that is possible, I need to tend to my own garden diligently and without apology. As the saying goes, I cannot offer to others what I have not already cultivated in myself.
I still experience chaos in my world, but when I do, I remember quickly that I don’t need to get lost in it; that it is highly unfulfilling; and that I know the road back. The road back to my true I Am.