Sometimes there are moments in your life, when it becomes painfully clear how much you have lived in an illusion. The reality, the basis for all your actions, simply appears to be a creation of the mind. A bubble of air. And with the bursting of the bubble, the whole construction breaks down. The personality and strength that you thought you developed, no longer appear to keep you standing. The construction of strategies you built collapses like a house of cards. What remains is a fragile, vulnerable person. Unsure, scared, alone.
But exactly there, walking this fine line where your mind fights not to loose control, lies a possibility to give rise to your true existence. There where all stories loose their illusion, life shows its true beauty.
“Congratulations!” my teacher happily replied, when I told him that my whole life together with everything I had perceived to be true had fallen apart. That I couldn’t do anything except cry. That the ground beneath my feet had been swept away and nothing was certain. Despairing about my work, broken by a lost love, no sparkle of hope or trust that I would ever find solid ground beneath my feet, however far I searched within my confused mind.
“Congratulations”, he said, “When everything seems lost, a new field of unknown possibilities opens itself. Be curious and open to all that wants to unfold itself. At every end lies a promise of a new beginning.”
I recognized the truth to his words, but my emotions were too strong to make a first step towards wonderment. I was angry and sad, and wanted to hide. Because, how painful it would be if others saw the despair in my eyes, heard the panic in my voice. I was afraid others would reject my weakness and I would sink deeper into the unpleasant state I had already reached.
Just observe your thoughts
“Just observe your thoughts”, he advised. “And know that every thought is simply a construction of your mind and has nothing to do with the truth of that moment. Don’t be dragged into the stories you make up in your mind, instead return to your breath again and again. And feel your feet.”
For days this was my exercise. Every thought that emerged: It isn’t fair. The other should be doing this or that. I am not worth it, not good enough, not attractive enough etc. etc. Each time I became aware, I stopped by mind. And so I prevented myself from being sucked into another story filled with beliefs.
The truth proved to be in the pain manifesting itself as a clamp on my heart, a nauseous feeling in my stomach, the sudden tears that appeared. Sensations came and went. The truth was in the sound of my footsteps, the wind on my skin, the whistle of birds. Sleep that wouldn’t come. The truth was in my longing for love to be a certain way, while the other wanted it differently. The truth was a worried message: are you doing all right? Period.
Slowly but surely the fog that surrounded me disappeared. The quicksand under my feet became solid ground. The panic was replaced by peaceful calmness. In the deep relaxation that followed, the difference between my thoughts and the reality of my existence became clear.
I was aware how every thought developed into a story that I fully believed. How every story triggered a wave of emotions. And how a certain story could become a whole different story a few days later. How the reality could take on so many different forms. How they were all true and yet at the same time not true at all.
I was aware that I was much more
than the reality my mind had made up
I was also aware that I was much more than the reality my mind had made up. I was the fragile and afraid child, I was the strong and wise woman, and at the same time I was much more than that. I was aware of my psychological existence and saw and experienced myself within a larger consciousness. A consciousness that consisted of pure love.
And there, in that presence, was serenity and stillness. I could observe life as an interesting game filled with intrigue, emotions and surprising turns of events. In which everything is constantly coming into existence and disappearing. I saw myself doing my best, I saw myself struggling, and laughed. It was such a liberation to also be able to experience the other dimension. Where everything is transparent and spacious. Where life can flow through you without any resistance. Being with the pain, the frustrations, the joy and rapture. But without any wish for it to be different.
Sometimes there are days when I am dragged back into it. Into a made up story. When I believe the story, turn it into truth. But almost always, I hear from afar, in the echo of my spirit, the whisper of an invitation to create space. To broaden my awareness, to become a silent witness. And to wait patiently for a new beginning. Which always comes. Always.
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