“What causes misery is always trying to get away from the facts of life, always trying to avoid pain and seek happiness—this sense of ours that there could be lasting security and happiness available to us if we could only do the right thing.”
― Pema Chödrön
There are many who would rather hold tightly to their illusions of safety, of comfort, and ultimately of control, than to surrender to this fundamental truth; we are powerless over the vast majority of what happens around us, and yes I mean including the feelings, thoughts and behaviors of those dearest to our hearts. The power of this grip cuts deeply, oozing, bleeding, exhausting us and making us bitterly angry, unhappy and frustrated. And yet we grip harder…
Because the belief in the illusion, the very notion that if we simply will all our most brilliant ideas of how this thing called life should unfold with adequate conviction and determination we will somehow be right. And if we’re right we will be kept safe. Those we love will be kept safe. We will be spared from the harsh realities that encompass the human experience.
“Right” has perhaps never mattered more to us human creatures. It is fear that drives this narrative. Fear that what we believe we want or need will never come to be. Fear that what we believe we cannot live without will be ripped from us. The desire to be right leads us firmly into a hole of solitude. It renders us willing to make you/it/them the enemy. We are building prisons for our souls. The moment our brains utter the words “Not this. Not me. Not them. Not now. Not ever” we have become willing to spend our lives inside the bubble of illusion. We are lost. We have entered a depth of the forrest that will require a search team to find us and pull us back to reality, back to sanity.
Somewhat ironically it is our devotion to being right that creates everything that is so very not right within the context of our lives. It hardens us to the magic of the present in every single moment, to the pure grace surrounding us always. It deafens us. It blinds us. It freezes us in time and space. It keeps us from recognizing all the moments of divine orchestration; the countless coincidences, the vast experiences of crossing paths with another soul at just the right moment…
the messages that come to us from a completely unexpected source.
“Seeking happiness” can never be our mission as it will always remain just beyond our grasp when we are chasing it. Peace, serenity, purpose and joy are always the result of leaning in to whatever life throws our way. Happiness is fleeting at best. The willingness to feel, the courage to show up for our lives precisely as they are in any given moment, be it joyful or agonizing will always lead us home again. We are the only ones who have the power to decide. We choose it all, not because it thrills us, but because to not do so is grossly missing this precious opportunity. In this moment I hope you choose life regardless of the mess. I pray you celebrate your deep joy, or overwhelming grief, because it is all such a beautiful reflection of living, of not turning away or running. Lean in. Don’t look away. Deep breath. Here we go…
Peace & Love Always