Why is it so difficult to understand ourselves? Humans have evolved enough to have complexity in thoughts and feelings, but not enough to understand and express them. We are an enigma to ourselves. Layered deep below our outer core is a magma of understanding. We hide and reject our own feelings because they cause us discomfort; we don’t like them. Meanwhile, the very emotions we deny are the key to unlocking our own freedom. And these uncomfortable feelings will continue to hit us time and time again because we have not acknowledged them, we keep hiding from them. Having trouble saying “No?” Don’t worry, there will be another opportunity to confront those feelings again. The same pattern over and over again until you move through them.
The irony in the pattern repeating itself is that each time we feel the emotions again, we’re not getting better at them, we’re just creating new ways to control it. A complex system of walls, a maze of sorts, that protects us from feeling those emotions next time. Meanwhile if we just allow ourselves feel the unwanted feelings we wind up digging far enough beneath the surface to witness the profound knowledge of our inner core. There is a vastness there beyond your unwanted feelings – more layers to peel back, more discoveries, more self-awareness, more aliveness. That level of exposure might not be appealing to some, but I have questions for those people. Why are you here? Who are you? Those are impossible questions to answer if you’re not going to make it your life’s work to peel yourself through your outer layers. Eventually we all have to face those questions and for some, unfortunately, the questions come so near the end. We’re all ending up in the ground at some point and no one wants any time wasted. We miss out on truly living if we’re not pointing the spotlight on ourselves; a compassion that runs through you for yourself and all others. Acknowledging our faults and loving ourselves anyway, then seeing the same patterns you have in others also, gaining a deeper understanding and love for everyone.
If we all made it our life’s mission to look closer at ourselves, many of our problems and irritations would fade away. There is a far greater clarity the further you take your journey inward. Each dive inward brings further expansion outward; sowing the seeds of fearlessness, and aliveness. Once you taste the fruit of pure freedom there is nothing more you want to do. Nothing is more important than journeying into yourself. Nothing. This is not a selfish task, paradoxically it is the greatest gift a person can give to the world. With it comes freedom, awareness, love, and compassion. And those qualities reflect back onto all the people around you. There is no illusion of self left for you to lose, and if there is any illusion left you’ll want to lose it. You’re laying yourself all out on the line. It is uplifting and contagious to be raw and exposed.
Of course the feelings and issues that come up will be difficult sometimes. This is life, not a story with neatly tied up loose ends. Your barriers will probably not break down and be resolved the first time you feel them through. Stand tall, you’re not alone in your gut wrenching sadness, anger, grief, or any of the many other emotions we might struggle through. We all have fear and insecurities buried deep below thoughts and emotions. Let it happen, feel it completely, breathe. If it involves other people, pray for them to have freedom from their fears and insecurities because they have them too. From the lowest of people on your list to the highest regarded, they all suffer sometimes, even the ones that you think don’t deserve sympathy. We’re all a consciousness inhabiting a human form for a short period of time. Everyone is trying to navigate and find their way through, we all need an understanding of one another and that starts by examining yourself.
Are you your body that withers and dies? Are you your brain that thinks and puts ideas together causing emotions and sensations in your body? Isn’t there something more to you? The biological instinct for survival and growth is coded inside us. Humans would not have made it this far without it. But something deeper lies within, begging to come through. It is our missing link, the thing that always makes us feel incomplete even in our happiest moments, it lingers in the background; a deep hunger. We need expansion of our consciousness or else we’re just surviving day-to-day; survival of the fittest, which causes not only division between us but pushes us further from our fulfillment. Just surviving is not our destiny as humans. We’re capable of more, and that longing, that search for why is the key. Humans have been learning how to survive, creating community, and manipulating our 3D world since our beginning. Advancements in science and technology have been beyond the stories of science fiction authors. But what about our consciousness? Our focus doesn’t need to be about what we can learn anymore, we already have those skills, it’s about how far we can stretch our experience. How many perspectives and layers can you experience? Truly live with and feel through them, not through the filter of your thoughts and emotions, but through the spaciousness inside you without thoughts. And through that, ironically, a deeper knowledge comes anyway.
It seems unattainable, but it’s done through living your daily life and keeping an open mind about your thoughts, emotions, and actions. This is a life’s work. Whatever comes (and those same scenarios will keep showing up), ask yourself why? Play with the thought or emotion, then let yourself just feel it all the way through, then think critically about it again. View it from an outside perspective, then through spaciousness beyond thoughts, then back to inhabiting it with all the emotions you first felt. Who’s creating these scenarios? Aren’t there countless ways to experience it? You begin to get a glimpse of how elastic, but also fleeting, all experiences are. They’re not as scary when you view them and feel them in small multiple perspective chunks like this, chipping away at them one tiny step at a time.
Through this process comes clarity, you can start to see through the layers you’ve piled on since childhood. The process doesn’t feel daunting anymore, but liberating. Difficulties become another stepping stone up the mountain of life. Everything is growth. Everything is a lesson. We are the eager students in the great laboratory of existence. Warriors of consciousness. This is our destiny, the path for our evolution as humans. Otherwise, we’re struggling through our days, trying to make sense of it all and we can’t. This is not about using your brain, the brain can’t solve this, it is only a tool to use toward understanding. Your understanding comes from a deeper place of witnessing. When thoughts spin away, hurtling you back into emotion, take a step back and experience the situation through spaciousness again. In and out of thoughts, emotions, actions, and spaciousness like this. A balance, a dance through your day-to-day life.
The dance is important to keep in mind as we struggle through deeper questions and realizations of ourselves. New experiences will arise causing new challenges. We have to remember there is no end game or final destination. Life is constant growth in waves, advancing and retracting. Have goals, but keep them small and don’t expect things or make a fairytale ending out of the outcome. We are warriors and our job is never finished, just transformed. Keep focus on why you continue the work. For our freedom, our children, our families, our community, our country, our world. They all matter and deserve the work we put into ourselves. If not you, then who? Keep pushing against the walls you’ve created, keep expanding. We do this together, each of us contributing to the push of humanity itself to expand.
Here’s to free falling and fearlessness as we break down the fortress of our defenses we’ve built so perfectly over the years. XO