Being surrounded by darkness and what appears to be going wrong, can feel a far easier road to travel, simply because it is known. It can feel easier to pick apart our problems, trying to fix our apparent wounds and trying to see why they appeared and put every effort into finding the root of our hurts, our pain. However, the opposite, being led into our light can be a road we now need to go down.
Right now, I see countless people focusing on what is wrong, what could go wrong, what may be wrong. I know this only too well. I used to be like this.
My entire life revolved around worry and expectation of when the next ‘bad’ thing would happen in my life. Living life on the edge of ‘What next?’ I knew no different. I didn’t know there was another way.
My way of living created depression many times over, along with anxiety. Yet even depression and anxiety were my comfort zone, my sugar-candy, my addiction. In the pits of despair, a little light or hope would come my way and I would run full throttle into it with pure excitement, but it was verging more on manic. I had been in the dark for so long I thought it would be easy to wander into the light. I was wrong. I was more scared of the light than I was of the dark.
I think what went wrong for me was believing that if certain things just changed in my life, I would be happy, I would be satisfied. Yet during this period of social distancing in the world, it has brought home to me how satisfied I’m becoming with my own company, with my world, even though it may not be perfect, even though I may not be financially free or secure yet, even though I may be without friends, family or a home I own that I can call my own. Even though, many things my ego-mind reaches for in the cave of my own dreams are not here, right now, I’m content and not a lot has changed apart from my state of mind.
And changing from a dark state of mind to a lighter state of mind has not been a smooth road and I know it is not always a light state of mind and therein lies an understanding that works for me.
Now, when the lighter feelings arise I feel so blessed, so very grateful but I’m also aware that nothing remains the same, that these feelings can easily change into fear, sorrow or pain of some sort, but I’m no longer fighting the flow that arrives at my door.
How did I get to be in this place?
I spent 30+ years struggling.
I spent 30+ years expecting more pain.
I spent 30+ years in a cycle of pain – hope – back to pain.
I spent 30+ years resisting ‘what is’.
I was in a long drawn out war with myself and my present reality.
I used to wind myself up day-dreaming of meeting my soul-mate, day-dreaming about moving into my dream home in the countryside and so much more.
These dreams, while sounding well-meaning, were in fact toxic to me at the time, because while I dreamed, I had a deeper unconscious belief of not deserving anything good. I had an unconscious belief that whatever I do or did was a failure and I had the unconscious belief that my current reality was wrong, needing to change dramatically for me to feel at peace with my world.
It didn’t need to change.
While I fought inwardly to move from the rough neighbourhood I live in and knowing I could not move due to finances, my fight served no purpose but to set me deeper into struggle and suffering. And now, this rough area in the city is perfect for the current pandemic way of life we now live in.
Yes, maybe I’m closer to other people, BUT not driving and having no car, no desire to use public transport, I’m able to walk easily to several food shops for basic needs and necessities. I see such a beautiful sky. I hear the tranquillity of birds in the city and I get to embrace some struggles when neighbours are noisy. All perfect gifts in a place I had resisted for 3 years.
Happiness Is Not ‘Over There’
You see, we can live our lives wishing for better.
We can live our lives thinking that if we just moved to this place or that place, life will be happier.
We may think where we are is wrong, but generally if we fully face our reality, we will find that where we are is where we need to be, exactly.
A good friend of mine was looking for a new home, for her and her family to move to, before the pandemic entered the world. One of the homes she was thinking of moving to, was in a more countryside area, but was far out of town and local amenities. She now acknowledges that even though she is in a small flat with her partner and two children, without a garden, she is better off for the time being, because she is close to support, able to talk to her downstairs neighbour at a distance on steps behind the flats and is within walking distance of local amenities like supermarkets and pharmacies when needed.
I realise over the course of my life when I have fought against ‘what is’, now looking back I can see how much those places, events, friendships, personal issues were all so purposeful. They all met my own needs to grow, to adapt and to transform my way of being.
To me, life in its wisdom gently guides us into our own light, as and when it is time to.
For this reason, I watch in curiosity many people fighting against ‘what is’ right now. Many people trying to fix or force the uncontrollable to change. Many people trying to understand what is unknown and uncertain and as a result struggling. I think perhaps many are feeling scared right now and this is being projected outwards as control, blame and resistance to ‘what is’, and I understand this perfectly. Fear makes us do many different things, but it is in the surrendering to our situation, which we cannot change or know, that brings us a greater sense of peace.
We then begin our own wander into our own fields of grace, those fields of grace that were always within us, but we were not able to see them or know them until now.
If you feel the dark road has been too dark for a long time, start to ask yourself if you are fighting against ‘what is’, see if you can relax your grip of control of the unknown and the uncertain and see how life feels.