How quickly our peace can be shattered, and how easy it is to assign that shattering to things outside of ourselves… After a couple of days of relative peace, I began to feel myself descending into sorrow and bitterness again. Yesterday was awful; this morning when I woke, still awful, and I knew something had to change and quickly, or I was going to fall into a very black well of despair. I was already sitting on the edge of it with both legs swinging. Sometimes the answer to our cry for help comes immediately, but most of the time that isn’t the case, and we have to wait for the answer, wend our way slowly toward it until we fall in its lap.
This morning I made my coffee and sat on the couch to stew… only, not really to stew, because I sincerely desired a way through to the other side of what I was feeling, which was bad. I’ve been reading and thinking about codependency lately and am learning a lot about myself that, until now, has been dark to me, or was something I’d known but squirreled away for later, when I’d be better able to deal with it. Since later had become Now, and wonderful resources and situations had come my way to enlighten me, I was taking full advantage and stuffing my head with loads of information. Books about between lives and past lives, past-life regression, soul clusters and soul mates, codependent thought and behavior, guides, angels… all of which are amazing and wondrous… were sweeping my mind into realms I’d imagined but never thought could be addressed so satisfyingly. Along the way, however, I got off track, and away from the central message – my central message anyway – which is:
I am my higher, deeper self.
I had once again begun to identify with my mind, my thoughts, to live as though I believed Descarte’s famous but fundamentally incorrect declaration that I think, therefore I am. No. We are. We simply ARE. Our minds are here to support us as tools, but we – the essence that is separate from the ego – are set apart from them. We existed before our bodies, and we will exist after we leave our bodies. Our essence is the I in every statement such as “I can no longer live with myself.” When we realize this, really grasp it, we can fall back without fear into a feeling of oneness with God, the beginning and sustaining Source of us all, and as we rest quietly in that sea of tranquility and security, we can let all the external events hammering at us for entry hammer away unheeded.
Over the past while, whenever I complained about feeling overwhelmed or depressed, Jesse and Scott would tell me that I needed to lay down my books and go back to the beginning, but I was too busy and excited about all the juicy stuff I was learning to slow down. I invented little catch phrases such as “I’ve decided to read for inspiration, not information,” in attempts to appease them and myself. I ignored the significance of physical and truly magical manifestations of the difference between essence and ego, such as the two times I quite literally felt my spirit lift within my body, as if it were restrained from release only by the confines of my physical being. I had begun to see my higher, deeper self as separate from me, as if I were my ego and not my essence; had begun, blindly, to live out of that false identity again, and yesterday, I could feel it killing me.
“I can no longer live with myself” is a truth that has dogged me all my life, but I didn’t see it as a statement of hope because I couldn’t see any way out of it. If something good happened to me, I was happy. If something bad happened to me, I was sad. If I was in love, I was happy. When something went awry with that love, I was sad. If people paid attention to me, if I had this or that, if all my ducks were in a row and everything in place, I was happy. If something fell apart, I was sad. Did I succeed? Happy. Did I fail? Sad. My life has been a roller coaster of emotion, a dizzying vacillation between pleasure and pain, stuck within the shallow confines of my ego. And I’m talking about as recently as this morning, so it’s not like I’m on this “ha ha, I’m enlightened and you’re not” kick. Living from your essence, apart from your ego, is a skill that requires practice, and mindfulness, and intent, and sometimes we forget about it and then it requires people to remind us.
I feel peaceful now. As I sipped my coffee, I felt the urge to revisit the words of Eckhart Tolle, so I fetched his first book from the shelf. Turning its pages, slowly absorbing every familiar passage with new eyes, I began to feel my mind shift and loosen and then move out of the way as my spirit regained the reins. This person named Kelly is temporary, but I am eternal; the two of us are merged for awhile, and I really like who I am in this body, but I needn’t feel whipped around or trapped by the tyranny of my role here, or by my mind, which is constantly searching for things to define me. My higher, deeper self defies definition, except for this one simple fact: I am. And so are you. This is the peace that surpasses all understanding. I hope, if you’re struggling, that you can experience this peace today as well. Love to you all!