For every physical adventure there’s the possibility of loss. That’s what makes it an adventure.
For every spiritual adventure, there’s only gain. Which totally spoils the adventure, and is why you choose to forget that all physical adventures are really spiritual adventures.
Everything makes you more.
Everything makes you more?
I had this protective shell which wasn’t allowing me to be me. The real me. It was a shell I imposed on myself to keep others from seeing me, understanding me, yet I then never understood why people couldn’t feel close.
I suppose my identity derived from the things I tell myself and the things other people said about me that I decided to accept as truth.
One way to think about ego is as a protective heavy shell, such as the kind some animals have, like a big beetle. This protective shell worked like armor to cut me off from other people and the outside world. What I mean by shell is a sense of separation: Here’s me and there’s the rest of the universe and other people. My ego liked to emphasize the “otherness” of others.
The ego loves to strengthen itself by complaining—either in thoughts or words—about other people, the situation I found myself in, something that is happening right now but “shouldn’t be,” and even about myself. For example, when I was in a long line at the supermarket, my mind might start complaining how slow the checkout person is, how he should be doing this or doing that, or he failed to do anything at all.
I didn’t have thoughts, my thoughts had me.
My emotional response to that voice – Only in this way can I be present to the truer world around me. The trick, of course, is to work to free myself from this armor and from this voice that is dictating reality.
I am teaching myself to lay down my weapons. I challenge myself to become more aligned internally with the present moment. Fighting with myself and the negative me will just make it stronger. By declaring war on it, I make an enemy. A simple example: I woke up this morning, and it was raining and gray, and my mind said, “What a miserable day,” and this is not a pleasant thought. I suddenly realized that my judgment of what kind of day it would be was based on a mental habit, an unconscious default. That simple awareness created space for a new thought to emerge. I can look again out the window without that preconception and just see the sky. It’s gray. There’s some sunlight filtering through the sky. There are raindrops falling. It’s not actually miserable at all. It has a certain beauty. Then suddenly, I’m free. I am no longer imposing something on reality, and I am free to enjoy what, I had rejected.
I was seeking happiness, desperately. I am learning to not seek happiness. If I seek it, I won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness. Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is rather than making up stories about it.
I do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within me and allowing that goodness to emerge.
This self-imposed journey was a conscious decision to improve my body, my health, my emotional health, and my spiritual being. I knew I had to do it all together or it wasn’t going to work. I had to touch on being emotionally healthy, forgiving the past and moving on. I had to strengthen my belief in a high power, and how that lives within me and how I choose to use it. I had to incorporate meditation, prayer, and zoning in on the light. I had to do what I said I was going to do.
Has it been easy? No. Has it been worth it? Oh My God yes. Am I finished with this journey? Far from it.