Sometimes I feel the most comforting thing you can tell someone is the simple truth that, whatever it is that they’re going through…
It will pass.
There’s always a way, even if you can’t imagine in the slightest where life could possibly go from here. There’s no reason to give up on yourself, because the universe never will.
You are taken care of.
How will I protect my heart form crumbling during shaky times?
Can I keep a calm heart when it is being pushed around in confusion and ambivalence?
Know some things in you are stronger than you think.
Feel your core is stable even when your limbs are not.
Know that your heart is not a bone that can just break.
Know it is a radiant force within that no one can diminish.
Love even when you are not loved back the same way.
Love with a heart that’s wide, not sacrificing.
Open your heart to emotions without acting them out.
Meditate on your warm light that shines forever.
If the world is, in its tiniest particles, designed to add up with least possible residue, then why are we still doubting things will add up on a larger scale?
If it happens, we often call it coincidence, and what we mean is an unlikely event that happens to our surprise. The actual word “to coincide” simply talks about two or more events happening at the same time, resulting in, well, something.
If a pool of lonely atoms arranges to a carefully designed snowflake of perfect symmetry, that’s just science. Whereas, if in our lives, multiple events add up to something that seems “too good to be true”, we are suspicious. Or on the other end, if multiple soul shattering events strike us at the same time, we ask ourselves how we are so unfortunate.
What if all the events that coincide, are in fact attracting each other like the loose ends of atoms? What if the coincidences, the shaking times, are just as carefully arranged parts of a whole that comes together, that will melt into a new structure when the time has come?
And what if our life seems to be stagnating? Sometimes we are bored, feeling as though we are waiting around for something to happen. Maybe not believing anymore there’s anything in it for us. Those might be the times corresponding to the era of the universe finding its structure- imagine, like after the Big Bang. A humongous number of free floating particles, vibrating through space, meeting each other to form, deform, reform… something.
How long it took until there was a snowflake? A tree? A human being?
The chair you’re sitting on?
I don’t know.
All I know for sure is, it eventually did come together.
Of course, we are all on the lookout for happiness. We tend to try and mask out the obstacles of our happiness. But it doesn’t always work that well, right?
And the more sensitive ones of us will sink down in despair over the state of the world every once in a while. We feel all the things that are wrong and horrible around us are a reason to be sad, angry or scared.
Well, they are. I won’t tell you these feelings aren’t valid. They are even reasonable. But collapsing because of them is not worth it. Instead of letting us be pushed down so much by what is going wrong, we have to work on becoming accepting. Acceptance is the only way out of the dark spirals we sometimes find ourselves in when thinking about the terrors of our lives or this earth. I am not talking about resignation. I am advocating for healthy equanimity.
The terrors are part of life, of everything. It’s not just possible to live with them, they are mandatory in order for life to exist. This understanding sheds a whole other light on the dark side of the world. It won’t go away, and you know how there’s no light without darkness. They are both implemented in everything that is and two sides of the same coin.
Think of the things that weigh you down this way: Yes, it is bad. It is okay to feel that way about it. It makes sense. And it might not change. But instead of desperate, you can decide to feel equanimous. This does not mean you don’t care or that you do not have strong emotions about it. Quite the opposite. Sit and be with your emotions, go deeply into them without avoidance. And accept:
Not everything is good.
Not everything is beautiful.
And it’s okay.
A sense of trust towards the universe can help, but you do not need to believe the everything happens for a reason thing in order to be okay. Just realize that happiness does not mean permanent joy or exclusive positivity. You can be inherently happy and still feel sad and afraid now and again, without it breaking your heart. You can transform your bottom emotion into an optimistic equanimity. You can look at “negative” feelings with a positive attitude. An attitude that permits you to simply see:
There is no way out or end to every bad thing or thought.
But that’s okay and part of the whole experience!
Most of the time, most of us will face people that are not ourselves (okay, and even ourselves) with preconceptions. If it is a stranger: What are they wearing? How are they presenting themselves? What are their gestures, the look in their eyes, their voice and choice of words? If it is a friend, relative or lover: What situations do we know them in? What have we experienced in relation with them? We will try to fit these traits in a concept in combination with our associations and previous experiences.
While this is natural and happens subconsciously, it also limits our present and subsequent experience with the person we are facing. With someone close to us, the preconception might be: I know them so well, if I say this or do that, they will react like this or that. The issue with this is that people are evolving constantly, we are complex systems that are undergoing transformations in any moment. Having known someone for years is, therefor, no guarantee of knowing their response.
With a stranger, we might limit the possibilities of the interaction right away by choosing to only show them a specific part of ourselves.
We decide in our minds that our counterpart would only be able to handle so much of what we think or do – of who we really are, in a nutshell.
If we start meeting each other as if we would understand each other,
it might just happen that we indeed will.
I have been experimenting with that lately, and my experiences are startling. Turns out that, when I confront people with what is true to me, more often than not, I will be presented with a surprising amount of understanding. The trust I put in the other person by showing them my real self in that moment is received and comes back. I do not act as if they couldn’t handle it, and the respect I show them by leaving the choice to them if and how they want to handle it reflects back. People are more capable than you or they would know.
In addition to learning to be able to speak your true self, practicing this kind of trust and confrontation might open up unexpected new connections to you, quicker and deeper than you would have thought are possible. I have been getting quite some glimpses of it already.
One of my most redundant-sounding revelations shortly after my Kundalini experience was this: “I am everything I ever was and ever will be all at once!”
When I told a friend, he laughed at me. I still do think this was a valuable insight, though. I believe that we comprise our past, present and future. I recently heard of an analogy about a tree: What happened to the four year old tree will remain materialized in its trunk, the formation of its annual rings; it won’t ever go away. The tree will contain what it survived throughout all of its lifetime.
I think it is the same with us as humans. While the practice of being present in the Here & Now is a valid approach to therapy, self-healing and mindfulness techniques, it can only ever be a band-aid. Ultimately, we cannot deny the past. I think the past is not gone. Maybe also the future isn’t nonexistent. They might exist all at once forever, simultaneously.
This actually lines up with the block universe theory, a philosophical concept of time relating to physics. I recommend a little research about it if you’re intrigued.
So while we can gain a lot from living in the moment, being aware of the breath we are breathing and the step we are taking, I believe we have to accept that our past will always be a part of who we are. Especially when it comes to traumatic experiences, we might have to become even more accepting of our pain. In expecting and hoping to one day “overcome” the pain, fear and anger that is connected to our trauma, we might get to a point where we feel that, by now, we should be able to handle it. We think we worked through it, so we should be okay!
Maybe it is more helpful to see ourselves as the four year old tree that is still inside of us. We still comprise all the shocking and shattering things we once survived, and here’s what- I think we always will. Even if we go through it again and again, whether in the course of therapy or by ourselves, we can never expect the work to be done.
Healing is not a linear process, and it is one that by definition leaves traces.
If something made you incredibly sad and hurt once, it probably will do so for the rest of your life. And that is okay. It will define you less, yes. And it will have less influence.
Maybe we have to reassess what it means when we say: “It’s in the past,”.
Instead of: “I’m over it, it’s forgiven and forgotten”, it might just mean:
“The wound is always there and I am aware of it, but I grew many rings over the years on top of it that make it feel evermore smoother –
most of the time”.
I used to think there was nothing more dull than reality.
There were times when I preferred my dreams at night to my waking life.
My perception since then has changed drastically, and I owe it to a great extent to spiritual practice and the resulting broadening of my awareness.
If reality seems grey and unamusing to you, I would like you to ask yourself:
Am I really looking?
On the train, when the sun is flickering through the trees rushing by the window, it projects a spectacle onto the retina through your closed eyelids. Nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the view from the inside.
Looking through squinted eyes toward the sun, there are numerous rainbows on your eyelashes only you can see.
In every drop of dew, you can see a reflection of the world.
Every leaf, petal, twig, blade of grass, carries vein-like patterns, similar to your own skin.
The moment a snowflake lands on your skin, melting down its fractal formation with your warmth.
How the ocean’s waves are moving back and forth in an endless rhythm…
It’s not little things. These are the things the world is made of. They are there to be witnessed. To be felt. We are trained to take them for granted in order to be more efficient. But we can decide to notice and celebrate their existence.
If you allow these things to enter your awareness more often, you might be surprised by how exquisit the cold morning wind feels on your cheek.
And discover for yourself that there is nothing more psychedelic than reality.