This morning when I sat down to close my eyes and rest in the quiet stillness of my soul for a while, my peaceful moment was rudely interrupted by the wayward contents of my mind. That’s the ego for you—jump right in there to disturb the peace. It can be quite disconcerting in my head sometimes.
The mental assault stopped when I heeded the call to take a little vacation break from the ego-produced beliefs, assumptions, ideas, opinions, and perceptions that clutter up my mind. It is a blessed relief to allow space for the truth to seep in, to make inroads into the density of a mind that thinks it knows it all and has all the answers. Turn on the lights, open the floodgates, and voila—there it is—the naked truth.
Oh but wait! The truth might be my enemy. What if I see something that I don’t want to see? Something that I’ve been hiding from, running from, afraid of? Oh no. Not me. I’m not willing to turn on the light. Not just yet. Maybe later. Later is safe. Later protects me from the naked unadulterated truth that might creep me out and scare the living bejeepers out of me.
I’ll be the first to admit that staring in the eyeball of the bare naked truth can be frightening, like catching an unexpected glimpse of myself as I emerge dripping wet from a shower and see that my mother’s aged body has replaced my own. I can hide it beneath layers of clothing, and I can disguise my flaws beneath a smiling face that belies the truth of who I think I am. But at my core, I am not a body, any more than I am just a mind. As I recently heard it said, I am not a body with a soul. I am a soul with a body.
For those brave souls willing to dig deep enough to discern what is true, there is a conundrum. We won’t know the truth until we know what is false, and we won’t know what is false until we know what is true. Truth will only become known when we are able to answer the call to drop the obstacles that stand in the way of our knowing: the ideas, opinions, perceptions and beliefs that lock us into a false reality of who we think we are, and what we believe to be true.
One of the greatest roadblocks to peace of mind is our belief in the story that we were told as children about being guilty of having committed some vague, undefinable, heinous sin or other against God or ourselves or some unknown someone, and that punishment is a certain consequence of our wickedness. Call it blasphemous, but I do not believe that a loving creator would jump start our lives with the word sinner stamped across our foreheads.
Mistakes? Sure, you bet! Guilty as charged! Sin? No thank you. I claim my innocence. God doesn’t make mistakes, but humans do, and we made a whopper when we decided to believe the story we were told that identifies us as sinners. The day I gave up the idea that I am a sinner was the day that my world turned right side up. Any creation of God is perfect exactly as created. We aren’t broken. We don’t need to be fixed. Praise the Lord!
Where, when, and how do we gather the courage to turn on the light and begin the search for light when the dark is such a scary place? With one inch and one toe at a time, perhaps? Or by sky diving and bungee jumping into the wilds of the unknown? Or by seeking to find a comfortable space somewhere in the middle? Or waiting until life in the dark becomes so suffocating that a willingness to open the mind to a sliver of light creeps into consciousness? It’s different for each one of us. For me, it was a trickle of awareness sneaking into my consciousness quietly, like a gentle snowfall growing by millimeters of an inch, hour by hour, changing the landscape of life one day at a time, slowly, changing my life forever.
We’re all parked on the planet for a reason. We each come equipped with an ingenious curriculum specifically tailored to our individual, specific need, designed to move us from one life lesson to another. We are given carefully selected teachers and guidance counselors to help us through our life experiences and lead the way home. They are infinitely patient, kind, wise, loving, and take our hand as we navigate the scary patches of the self-realization process. If we are wise, we follow the carefully planned curriculum and listen carefully to their wise counsel.
When the time is right and the student is ready, the light will go on and the journey toward home will begin, gently guided by wise teachers who know how to help us find the best within ourselves, the heart and soul of our being. In this, the adventure of a lifetime, the reward is the gift of an infinite supply of unbounding joy. Let the journey begin.
Note: The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us)