You want to see the truth of God? Then learn to see the truth of who you are.
As I explained in my previous post, everything that I see is an expression of me, whether objects, people or circumstances. Being in this body, in this world, I am a being who needs to grow and what is outside of me has the function of showing me where I need to work on inside. In general, everything in life that causes me to be disturbed is exactly what I need to learn something important and continue growing. I need to be disturbed to become alert, otherwise I wouldn’t pay attention. And so the most difficult moments in my life are the primary triggers for such realizations.
It is embedded in our western culture to run away from pain and difficulty. We are offered an endless list of activities and remedies to get out of pain and suffering, all the more spurred on by the Disneyland-mentality in some spiritual circles that sustain the belief that we must be positive at all times. But as Joseph Campbell said: “it is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”
For me the awakening process has the primary function to enable me to become my own observer. Inevitably this has endowed me with the very entertaining skill of becoming a focused observer of others too. It can be a lot of fun, at first, to observe how this plays out in other people -and definitely easier. However, and despite the fact that learning from others’ experiences by observation can also enrich our own, in the end we are inevitably steered to look inside ourselves and make whatever changes are necessary.
Everything has a purpose
The outlook I have now is so different from before, and instead of brushing others with thin layers of judgement in the exercise of mild (and sometimes not so mild) gossip, I now see the invisible pulls of the divine at work in their lives. Not long ago an acquaintance of mine was gushing out her frustration, despair and impossible struggle, at a time where her life is what Pema Chödron so accurately describes as “groundlessness”. You know: where everything seems to be falling apart and you don’t recognize your surroundings anymore. So this woman was in tears, decomposed and stunned, failing to understand “why” things were broken, when in her eyes she was doing everything right.
You see, I wanted to hug her and say “congratulations, this is an amazing opportunity and if you learn to embrace it, your life is going to take on another dimension -that of wonder”; but I held back, as I knew very well from personal experience that such reaction would be construed as totally insensitive -and nuts. However I did tell her the following story:
Imagine you are a small child, running after a butterfly, in a beautiful prairie filled with flowers. You run and run and run, playfully, without seeing that you are about to fall off a cliff. Just as you are about to fall over, your angel flies in and grabs you by the waist, pulling you up and away from danger. The suddenness of the intervention and the force of that gesture is painful and you cry immediately, not only out of pain, but because you can’t see the butterfly anymore. And so all you know right now is what you have lost, and you are physically disturbed. You can’t see the beauty of where you are and you are too overwhelmed by the disturbances in your body to know that you angel just nudged you in your path. This is where you are right now in your life. I’m telling you…
Now, obviously she looked at me with what I like to call a “fried-chicken” expression of disconcertion. I immediately pulled out of my bag the “regular” words of comfort to soften my metaphorical story, but I so wanted to tell her the truth of what was going on. And this is what is always going on: we are assisted and everything that is is exactly what needs to be -and happen for us- to become the best that we can be. It’s hard to see it that way when we are in the thick of the storm, right? But those moments that disturb us so much are our cue to make use of the mirrors and decipher the messages in them.
I remember how in a dream I was skating happily. But I was suddenly pushed by some people to the edge of a huge precipice. I was about to fall and became lucid right at that moment. It was one of those moments that give me a million bits of information to get a profound understanding of something. That moment where I was about to fall found me with my back to the precipice and facing toward a being who grabbed me at the last moment as I stared into her eyes. It’s so difficult to express all that is being transmitted in those eyes. The infinite, the love, the light, the warmth of that being -who is also me- showing me, making me understand: “we are pushing you to the edge, but we’ve got your back, hang in there, TRUST us”. They were reminding me to hang in there, that all the challenges I was facing -and will face- have a purpose. “Hang in there” is a message I always receive when in the depth of misery, which I re-visit regularly.
When I look around me I see what disturbs me and challenges me the most: where I was born and raised, my family, my husband, my mother and then an endless list of people and circumstances that I am blessed to encounter -and that are so hard to deal with. But everything tells me something, not only about where I need to grow, but about what my real story is: about my life purpose.
🙂 Marina CB – Be brave, be free