This may or may not be the case for you, but I know I – and many others I’ve interacted with – have been going through major changes in their lives. I myself have been going through a change that has led me to an environment in which I felt isolated, without direction, and with nothing else to entertain myself but myself. This has brought me face to face with the infamous “void,” a void in which we tend to meet the puzzling yet revealing question: “without all of this, Who am I?”
If we’re interested in spirituality, we “get it.” We are an eternal spiritual being having a temporary human experience. We probably love talking about it. And we usually do because we have had such spiritual experiences or glimpses of our true nature, because we need the inspiration or simply because we truly resonate with this reality. I know I do! “Understanding” who we are is a wonderful tool, however embodying our true nature and truly feeling it from within is a whole other thing.
Getting to an understanding of who we are is no different than opening the door of a house – the house being a metaphor for our human mind. It’s a great step; we’re letting some light in! But does it mean we have visited it thoroughly? Does it necessarily mean we have experienced each room, opened every closet and even spent some time in the “scary” basement? Perhaps we have quickly peaked in each room, but have we taken the time to explore them fully, sit in them, meditate in them, open the windows to let some light in, and perhaps do a little clean up? Are we okay with leaving the doors open for us and others to see?
Knowing the truth, speaking the wisdom and being the light is wonderful, but the light isn’t limited to entering what is comfortable and acceptable to the mind. The light is here to illuminate all rooms, even those dusty closets with all of the old, emotionally charged baggage we have been reluctant to explore. This is why it is helpful to realize that self-discovery isn’t a mental conclusion, it is an ongoing process of discovery, which often implies a major internal clean up of the old.
FROM IDENTIFY TO BEING
What are we cleaning up? We all know the wise saying “Let go of all attachments.” It is true that it is our attachments that weigh us down and keep us restricted to old patterns, but an even more important realization is the answer following the question: Why are we attached?
In my experience, I am working through my attachments to receiving love and maintaining certain close relationships. Why are these attachments there? Because I have felt abandoned and rejected in the past, and part of me was afraid to feel that again. My mind has maintained an identity with the perception and emotional reaction of the past.
Some may be more specifically attached to the work they do or their place and reputation within society – perhaps because without it they would feel inadequate or unworthy. Their minds may have maintained an identity with a part of them that has felt inadequate or unworthy in the past. In the end, it almost always has to do with fear of experiencing or re-experiencing past hurts and discomforts we have not yet learned from and integrated.
The most challenging yet most liberating thing we are learning through this releasing process is to dis-identify from what is not original to our being.
Let’s refer to the house analogy again. We are in the process of visiting all rooms – regardless of what energies they carry – and transmute them with our light and presence. We are simply neutral visitors, feeling what energy is there and clearing what is no longer required. But can we do this efficiently by thinking we ARE the room, the paint color, the smell, the memories, the history, the stories…? It becomes more difficult when we remain attached to the identities and stories of our minds.
“The funny thing about the mind is that it wants to wrap things up quickly and move beyond its suffering, but it is afraid to let go of the identify it has with it.” – Franco DeNicola
We need to allow ourselves to simply feel the breeze in every room of our being without judgment, whether it is too hot or too cold, uncomfortable or comfortable, painful or pleasurable. As we let go of our need to judge experiences and emotions – whether from past or present – the struggling loses its grip and we develop a deeper sense of compassion and freedom that we could not access before. This is when we begin to feel our original oneness with life – our inner-self that is already whole and complete. We can now allow ourselves to breathe in the knowing that there is LIFE beyond identity, LIFE beyond “death.” Life is the beautiful dance of moving from the play of identity to the play of remembrance.
Everything is an opportunity to know ourselves beyond the storyline… Who knows? Maybe we’ve been the ones in charge of the script all along.
“How do you let go of attachment to things? Don’t even try. It’s impossible. Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.” – Eckhart Tolle
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