Okay. So say you’re feeling kind of blah, maybe down in the dumps or a little blue, or just off. If you’re like me, maybe you’re wondering about the bigger purpose of it all. Why are we doing this thing called life? Sometimes it all seems so…meaningless.
You find yourself feeling like this and maybe you think: I need to change something!!! My hair, job, relationship? Or maybe I need to change my body. Feeling like this isn’t good or okay. So, I’ll start with getting fitter. Yeah, that’ll help things.
So you start to work out and/or change your diet, as much as you can. Maybe it’s a little or a lot. Maybe you lose weight or not. If you lose weight (or whatever your goal was) and still feel the stuckness, maybe you head down the rabbit hole of “I need to try harder!” If you don’t lose weight (or whatever your goal was), maybe you also head towards “I need to try harder!” with an extra helping of “Gosh, I sure must suck because I can’t get this right”. You go round and round: Try harder! I suck. Try harder! This isn’t working. Try harder!
You can end up staying in that cycle for a long time.
One day you wonder if maybe, just maybe, you don’t need to try harder. Maybe trying isn’t the answer (and perhaps never was). Maybe there is something from the past contributing to the yuck feelings, or maybe something you can’t yet put your finger on.
Not sure where to start, perhaps you pick up a self-help book, watch a video, or attend a training. You find yourself learning about self-care, positive thinking, meditation, mantras, and/or silence. You hear about “disconnecting” and that oh so elusive (for you, though not everyone else who clearly gets something you don’t) “inner peace”. Maybe some of it’s useful, though maybe a lot is not. In any case, welcome to the world of self-help. It’s an interesting one.
I think there can be a ton of great ideas in this space of personal development (and that we are here to develop as human beings on all levels: spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical). However. you can also find a lot of shoulds, need tos, and listen to me messages. Some may paint a picture of a linear road to finding yourself and feeling (really and actually) at peace with life. But here’s the thing — the road to the core of yourself isn’t linear. To think it’s supposed to be (and if you diverge, you’re a screw up) sets you up for failure and a ton of self-loathing or otherwise unhelpful and unhealthy stuff. The road is winding and confusing, with stops, starts, some dead ends, and also plenty of spectacular views if you’re looking for them.
Perhaps the greatest thing we can do in this life, the most courageous — is to become who we are. Not who we think we should be or who the world says we should be. Who we already are. To uncover and unlearn, layer by layer, any of the crap we’ve accumulated over the years until we get more and more glimpses of our core.
Taking the risk to dive into this journey can be (and I’m betting usually is) messy and uncertain. It may not feel easy, though it doesn’t have to be really hard or cause suffering (fighting where we are = suffering). The greatest resource along the way isn’t outside of us. It’s not in a book, video, or other person. It’s what is inside of ourselves — we’ve got access to figuring out which way to go (hint: what feels good, better, expansive?).
The journey is interesting, to say the least, and maybe even awesomely amazing. Want to come?