We all have them, so let’s be honest, can we? You know they are there – those places inside yourself that you let hide out in the darkness. They may be memories, feelings, fears, secrets. You try to pretend they don’t exist, yet, in your desperate moments, you admit they are the reason you are not happy.
And oh, what we do to avoid these experiences. We engage in addictions, compulsions, and habits of all kinds. We strategize and rationalize, resist and defend. Anything to keep us from taking off the blinders and meeting ourselves fully and directly.
We live like we are split in two trying to carry on, as the truth is nipping at our heels. And, meanwhile, we deny ourselves the freedom and peace that we long for.
The Fire for Truth
I know whereof I speak, as this is how I lived for years until I got serious about being happy. And once I did, I was on fire. I sought out teachers who could show me the way. I was willing to put my whole life up for grabs for freedom. I became open and receptive.
If you want to know what you are committed to, just take a look at your life, for it speaks volumes. Before my journey began, I lived in a tangled web of confusion, and it showed. Now there is alignment, intention, clarity, and peace.
It is amazing that in any moment, we have the power to make a choice. If you want happiness, you can stop choosing unhappiness. If you want love, you can realize that it is already the essence of who you are. Be inspired, and blast through the limits of what you think is possible.
What Do You Choose?
“How to do this?” you might be asking. Here’s how. Orient your life in the direction of your deepest desire. Honor each sacred moment by intentionally making a choice. Find these qualities in yourself, and make the space for them to flourish.
Let yourself be on fire for the truth and keep it burning. Be willing to jump into uncharted waters that may be way outside your comfort zone.
Be single-minded in your desire to know what you need to know to be free. Clear away distractions in your life, which takes honesty and commitment on your part.
Cultivate discipline and diligence
Stay on your path, even when it gets challenging. Know that every moment counts toward freedom.
Make the commit to do whatever it takes to realize enduring happiness. Let every cell of your being be open to learning and discovering.
No more blaming, accusing, wallowing, defending, running away, or making yourself into a victim. These are a recipe to keep you exactly where you are. Be willing to investigate your own thinking patterns and emotions and keep your attention there.
Give up the need to be in control. Abandon your cherished belief systems about how things are supposed to be. Let go of what isn’t working for you. Find teachers and teachings that support your journey and apply what you learn to your own experience. If you are still suffering, realize that you don’t know everything you need to know.
Set your priorities
Remember that you are always making a choice. Determine your highest priority and align yourself with it in your thoughts and actions.
Cultivate beginner’s mind. Forget everything you know and approach each moment as fresh and new. Because it is.
The power of old habits can be very strong. Find ways to keep your intentions and priorities alive in your daily life.
Open to compassion
Be ruthless and compassionate. Meet each moment, even the hard ones, with a full and loving heart.
Listen to the quiet voice inside you and follow it. Let yourself be moved by your natural intelligence rather than by the mind and thoughts.
It’s a guarantee that you will forget. Your emotions will get the better of you, and you will feel like you are at square one. Go inside to find your inner strength to keep going. Reconnect with what you really want.
Change your life circumstances
It might take time – years, even – but move toward aligning yourself with people and situations that are a reflection of your deepest truth.
It’s everywhere in books, blogs, online videos, retreats. Keep looking until you find what you need, and when you do, stop. Don’t get caught in endless searching. Take in the teachings and let them flower in you.
I offer you a prayer, from my heart to yours. May your mind be like a still mountain lake without a ripple. May your heart be vast and wide to hold everything unconditionally. May your happiness overflow everywhere.
What is your experience with bringing light to darkness? Anything you want to add or report? I’d love to hear…
My blogger friends Lance Ekum and Tess Marshall have lovingly assembled an e-book of 60 articles entitled “Love Care Donate,” one of mine included, to help the community of Joplin, Missouri that was hit by a tornado on May 22, 2011. Please click here to make a donation of any size to the Heart of Missouri United Way, and you will receive a link to download the book.