Looking Back From Here
Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don't have to like it... it's just easier if you do.” ~ Byron Katie
Real or imagined, I love the idea that a future, all knowing version of ourselves is calling us forward through our lives. What I know about my journey is that instead of getting really present with and loving what was going on in my life I wanted to feel better. I would do anything and everything to avoid what was happening or numb what I was actually feeling. At times that would involve numbing with alcohol, cigarettes and food. I would desperately seek guidance and answers from tarot readers, tarot cards, psychics, channelers, spiritual forecasts. Constantly asking the question "why is this happening to me"? I would read books like "Loving What Is" by Byron Katie with deep resistance.
Which brings me to the point of what I am wanting to share. There are many paths to personal and spiritual growth. There are many messages out there telling us to "feel good" or to "be positive" or "be peace" or "be more loving". While these ideas are helpful in pulling us towards our future, I know that for me I would internally judge myself for not being good enough in comparison to those messages. I would read books with very powerful messages and not be able to put them into practice, which would lead to more judgement. It brings me deep sadness to reflect on just how much time I spent verbally abusing and judging myself. I have come to believe that whatever our path we are likely comparing and judging ourselves to others. Someone who has success and money may judge that they are not actually worthy or deserving and someone without money may have exactly the same judgements. We each have our unique story that we project onto all our relationships and experiences.
It's no surprise to me that author and researcher Brene Brown is in such demand at the moment, with multiple books in the top 20 of personal growth. Permission to be imperfect. Permission to be vulnerable. Yes! Permission to love yourself even when it feels like your life is messy. I have learned and am learning to love myself deeply. Accepting that I am not the things I have done. Knowing that my experiences have made me stronger. Knowing that what I have learned is more valuable that any number in my bank account. Accepting that I am not always going to have good days. Experiencing that it is as beautiful to feel sad as it is to feel joy. I know that I don't always have to be happy or positive. I am not broken and I don't need fixing.
I think it was about 18 months ago that I was brushing my teeth and I looked deep into my eyes and said hello as if meeting myself for the first time. I quickly lost the essence of that experience and fell back into my routine. Recently I had that same experience again. What I know is this. My truest essence has always been there waiting for me to arrrive. Waiting to say hello. That essence was there loving and supporting me when I could not love myself. That essence when I brushed up against it gave me the hope and faith that I needed to keep moving forward. The theory of peeling back the layers of the onion as a metaphor for this journey makes so much sense now. So it would seem that the future does create the present.
Your sadness doesn’t make you less of a human being. In fact, it makes you more. More expansive. More connected. Painfully beautiful. Raw. Open. Completely alive. ~ Penache Desai