“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”
― Michael Cunningham, The Hours
No, not that self — i.e. “me”, “me”, “me” — but the one in touch with a deeper, more resonant self.
I call it ‘true self’ in honour of the late Thomas Merton but if that’s not your flavour think of it this way. When you’re open to what is and not lost in your head, you feel open-hearted. Imagine an open hand. When you’re lost in your thinking (i.e. logic), your body feels tight much like a closed fist.
And this is where, for the spiritually inclined or indeed most people who covet happiness, start to seek.
But — and here’s the kicker — adopting someone else’s approach to life will never work. Instead, look at your life: it’s the best teacher there is.
What are the problem areas?
Where do you need to undertake shadow work?
More especially, who are you?
You might think this a rather nihilistic approach. It’s not. In fact, if you’re willing to undertake a period of self-enquiry — e.g. Who am I? — you might start to appreciate that what you took as read, seems a little out of kilter with reality.
I’ll give you an example.
Do your circumstances dictate your thoughts, feelings and reactions or are they derived from within? I mean, I know it often feels like someone or something made you angry, but if you’re willing to explore the fringes of this idea, you might see things through a different lens; namely, it’s your internal processing — your neuro-linguistic if you like — that’s in play. And imagine, not by will or desire that you’re able to witness your thoughts and not automatically react. I’m not saying the internal war is over but you’d begin to see that there’s a witnessing presence that’s much bigger than you’ve ever previously experienced.
In the end though, what you do with your life is up to you. If you’re not called by a higher consciousness then you’re not called. But, trust me, no amount of personal development training is going to help, unless you first understand who or what you are.
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