This morning the girls and I took a nice long walk. As we walked together, Autumn and I talked about the sun and the leaves and the trees. Autumn asked me why the leaves had to die. I explained to her that the leaves die every Fall, but in the Spring they will come back again. She then asked me if it hurts them when they die. I love when she asks me questions that are so profound like that. Usually when she presents a deep question like that to me I have to answer her with a question. I said, “I don’t know, what do you think?” She said confidently, “I think it does because it hurts when we die so it probably hurts for them too.”
I love leaving it up to her to figure some things in life out for herself and reasoning things with her own mind. I love her imagination and her big heart and I never want to take that away from her. I think that so many children are robbed of their innocence and molded into what mass consciousness believes is the “right” way to be in society. We are taught from a very young age that our value is based on things and that some things are right and some things are wrong. That if we are different than we are bad.We learn to play the gain game and constantly compare ourselves to others. We lose touch with who we really are what we really believe and forget about what really matters. Somehow we have this belief that as we grow older we grow wiser, but it just isn’t so.
Last night Autumn was having a hard time with her spelling and she got frustrated about it. The word was Lemon. I pronounced it for her as best I could to give her a clue. “Lem-ON” I said. She looked at me with her face all scrunched up, and she said with a bit of sass in her voice, “What’s a lem-ON?” I smiled to myself, knowing that she was going to get it wrong and I had to let her. She proceeded to spell L-E-M-I-N. I asked her if that looked right and she said “Yep.” Then we clicked submit and the computer said politely (but not politely enough to a little girl with her hopes high) “Sorry try again.” She was so disappointed in herself.
After we were done on the computer, she took out her class picture and started pointing out all of the kids that could read better than her. She said, “This person and this person can read better than I can.” I said to her “Why do you have to be like that person?” She got quiet and I could tell that she was thinking. I then asked “What are you good at? I’m sure there are many things that you can do that they can’t do.” Then she said, “I can ride my bike for an hour.” I smiled at her and said, “Most people can’t do that.” Then I had to ask her, “Do you think that we were all made to be the same?” By this point, she was really listening. I then told her that I was different too. “Most mom’s go to work and I stay home, do you think that is bad?” “No.” She replied. I asked her what was really going on and she said, “I’m just mad I couldn’t spell Lemon!”
I love how life is always teaching us lessons. This is a great illustration of one of those lessons. This was especially important for me at this time in my life because I still have struggles with my identity and being different. I think we all do! We grow up, but really aren’t we all still just hiding behind a pile of insecurities? We think that we have outgrown our fear of non-conformity, but looking around at life I can see through people’s facades and my own. We are all still swimming in a sea of insecurity, some may be more obvious than others, but really we are all the same. We are all just trying to find ourselves. That’s why there are magazines and television and shopping malls. They are all trying to give us the answers and “fix” us. The problem is that we don’t need any of those material things. What we need is to truly feel alive, allow ourselves to finally meet ourselves, stop trying to conform and most importantly, to love and be loved.
We will never know who we are if we don’t ever come face to face with ourselves and what we are really running away from. We can keep trying to run, but one day we will have to face ourselves and ask ourselves what we are doing. We will all have to wake up someday, we can’t run forever. You can see it all around us, our world is full of chaos! We have forgotten why we are here and we are constantly seeking to distract ourselves from reality. Our mass distraction, media, shopping, over-consumption and complete mindlessness, has caused so much destruction that we are not willing to face. It is so much easier to sleep through the static, to have the T.V on 24/7, read magazines, talk about other people all the time. We will do anything it takes to avoid feeling our feelings and facing our own individual darkness. We will do anything to keep on believing the massive lie that dominates mass consciousness.
Trials keep on presenting themselves and we keep on pretending like we are being attacked or hard done by, when really the trial is the lesson and the gift of awakening. The trial is giving us a chance to finally look at why we are living the way we are and what we are really doing. The people that we find difficult in our lives are there to teach us something about ourselves. The difficult circumstances that we find ourselves in are teaching us to chose something different or see life through more loving and compassionate eyes. We keep thinking “poor me” and refusing to learn our lessons and wake up to the truth that we knew when we were children. It is still there inside of us, we just continue to ignore it. All the love and compassion that we were born with is still within us. Even as much as we have tried to numb it and have it go away, it remains. The truth is in each of us, we are the ones who continually ignore it.
It didn’t take me long to break open and start waking up. I just knew that this world made no sense. Even from a young age my dream was always to be a mom. That was it. I never had any real material goals, I never saw the point of gaining anything in this world. I fell asleep for a while, as I was brought up being taught that life was about gain and “being somebody,” but deep down I still had a feeling that wasn’t true. Life had always been presenting me opportunities to wake up, through trials, but it really wasn’t until last year, when I was in the depths of my eating disorder that I finally broke down, faced my darkness and admitted to myself that I was running.
I don’t want to run anymore. I don’t want to hide behind insecurity. I just want to be myself. Sounds simple, but how many of us really are? If we were really being honest with ourselves, we would see that we are all really running. Running from what I wonder? Running from pain, hurt, sadness? Maybe. That would seem the most logical. The main thing that I believe most of us are running from is truth and love. We have a massive resistance to just sitting still and being. To turn off the T.V and listen to the laughter of our children or watch our thoughts. Why is that? Because if we were to do that we would really see how perfect life is. If we were to turn off all the noise and just be in the moment, we would have nothing to run from anymore, because life in the present moment is always perfect.
There is no past in the present. There is no future, no if or when, in the present. No worries, just peace and love. If we were to truly allow ourselves to be in the present moment, we would have to give up the fight and stop playing this game that we have been playing for so long. Most frighteningly, we would have to admit to ourselves that it is all for nothing and that we have wasted much of our lives searching for something that have never really lost in the first place. That everything we have added on or think we have learned has not led us any closer to the truth, but only further from it. It’s still there, in each of us and it is constantly trying to wake us up. It is only up to us when we will chose to wake up and when we will finally see the lessons life is teaching us through our trials.
I have been doing my inner work since last year, when I broke open and NO it is not easy. There is pain, there is sadness, unforgiveness, bitterness, insecurity and pride. It’s all in there, but I am learning to let it all go. I am learning to separate myself from the beliefs that I was taught in the world and awaken to the truth that is inside of me. I am allowing my natural compassion to come out and am learning to love all of myself and others, exactly as they are.
You know what the best part is? Underneath all that garbage that I was fed for so many years, there is this beautiful peace and joy that is not like anything else in the world. It isn’t based on any thing or any gain. It just is. It isn’t only there if or when, it isn’t far off in the future, reserved for when I finally become perfect or do everything “right” but is my natural state. And it is yours too.
As I watch my children play and learn, being present in all of their life, I find out more about myself. I see where I am missing it and how really far removed from that peaceful state we have become. As I travel through the many peaks and valleys of life I continually learn. Life is not one-size fits all or one way. There is no right or wrong way to live. There is only living and learning. It is a continual journey to uncovering who we really are and returning to our natural state of love, peace and joy. There is a Joni Mitchell song that goes like this,
Come with me I know the way she says,
Its down, down, down the dark ladder
Do you want to contact somebody first
I mean what does it really matter
You’re going to come now
Or you’re going to come later
Those are the only two options. Those are our only two options. You will have to wake up. You will have to face your darkness. Will it be now or will it be later? It’s up to you.