There are times in our lives when we are feared. And there are times when we feel fear. We are feared because our mere presence beckons the enlightenment of that which even we wish to keep hidden from the world. We fear because we have hidden these things from ourselves. We hide from ourselves because it is what we have practiced for so long. We hide from the world because our sense of security and our self-concept relies on it.
To cease hiding is to obliterate the illusions you maintain about who you think you are… And then you are left with who you truly are. To see who we really are is, for many of us, a notion laden with doubt, frustration and yes, most of all, fear.
Doubt because for a long time you thought that you were already showing the world and yourself that which is the purest of who you are. You forgot that who you think you are is just that… A thought… And you forgot that your thoughts are not you, but a consequence of your existence. Through meditation, you can quiet the mind and exist without thought for a time… But can a thought exist without a thinker? When the doubt comes, you question all that you are and all that you have constructed in order to hide yourself – the truth of yourself – from the world. And then comes frustration…
Frustration because you have invested a lot in this self-concept, in these barriers and shields between your heart and the world. Frustration because to let go of this shield – this casm you have created between your heart and your joy – feels like an invalidation, to some extent, of it’s existence in the first place. “Why would I hide if there is nothing to hide from?” And then comes the fear…
Fear because once, a long time ago, there was something to hide from. Once, a long time ago, you were absolutely terrified of something which threatened everything you knew. Once, you hid away in the darkness a part of you which knows true joy. Once, a long time ago, you forgot how it felt to feel connected to yourself, you forgot how to feel. And what was left was the illusion of feeling. The fallow echo of emotion is all that has remained for so long. The drugs, the sex, the emotional self-mutilation, the ever-present running from yourself in the direction of a receding, rescinding illusion… None of it could take away the harsh reality that the only time you felt anything was when you gave up the ghost of resistance and cried for hours.
Fear because in those moments, you found yourself. And fear because that first step towards self-discovery was the most painful thing you’ve felt for years – since that day you hid yourself from the world… But just then, when you cried like the child you left behind, you felt it. It was real. It hurt but it was definitely real. The most real thing you’ve ever known. And suddenly, it was enlightened for you… Suddenly you saw that this pain you have held in your heart is a feeling. Not a knife, not a bullet. A feeling. It cuts ten times deeper and buries itself a million times deeper, but it is not the death you feared. It is the life you have been waiting for.
In the darkness, you found the light. In the pain, you found the joy. Not in drugs, not in sex, not in self-mutilation and certainly not in running away from yourself with your own sheared wool over your eyes and your fingers in your ears… But in letting yourself see, hear, taste, smell, feel that the fear was there for a reason. It hurts to look at the sun, so bright, when you’ve spent your years peering into the blackness of a cave of your own construction. And yes, it is sad that you were compelled to retreat there… It is sad that you aligned with such horror that the child inside you has cowered in darkness for years since… But what is sadder still, what is tragic, is to leave them there. Because that child grew up, it’s not them in the darkness any longer. It’s you. It’s you who has been sitting, rocking back and forth, crazed by your own creation.
No more. No longer.
Today, this week, this month, this year, this lifetime, you saw the light there. You saw that all this time the light was behind you, casting the shadows… But you never turned to face it, for fear of being burned. Today, this week, this month, this year, you finally found the courage to turn into the light.
Your doubt had you questioning if the light was really there. But your doubt, too, had you questioning the familiarity of the darkness. “Is this all I can ever know?”
Your frustration had your movement thwarted by expectation seeded in doubt. But your frustration, too, had you detesting the darkness you have used to squander yourself for so long now… It had you asking, “Is this all I will let myself know?”
Your fear had you paralysed, motionless in blackness. To move there, made no difference. There was nothing to move next to, no point of reference. But your fear, too, had you scared of never knowing movement, never knowing sight, or the beauty of transparency… For transparency is nothing without light to shine through it… It had you asking, “Will I deny myself the chance to be beautiful?”
And you turn around doubtful, frustrated and terrified. You pivot on your heels, expecting infallible obliteration – another reminder of the pain you endured as a child… The hottest fires of hell, for sure, the merciless whip of a slave master, certainly, the illusory benevolence of a siren song which morphs effortlessly, seamlessly, into the shrill scream of death, definitely… But you are surprised… You step into the light and there is no hellfire, no crack of a whip, no illusion of song to screech… No illusion at all.
As your eyes adjust to the light and the initial prang of discomfort subsides, you notice the heat of the sun on your skin and it feels good… You breathe like you are taking your first breath. You walk like you’re taking your first step… And you catch sight of yourself in the rivers. And no transformation occurs for you to see that, in truth, all along, you always have been and you always will be beautiful.
And you know joy.
I love you
Live, Love and Play