“There is no need for you to leave the house. Stay at your table and listen. Don’t even listen, just wait. Don’t even wait, be completely quiet and alone. The world will offer itself to you to be unmasked; it can’t do otherwise; in raptures it will writhe before you.” Franz Kafka
The earliest memories that I have of myself are ones of me trying to figure out how to make things happen; how to get something that I wanted, or not lose something/someone that I thought I had. In high school that search involved “getting” friends, boyfriends, alcohol, drugs, money, cigarettes, popularity, a car, a better figure (less fat)… It didn’t really matter what the thing was, the energy that I had around “it” was pretty much the same. It was as if I attacked life thinking I needed to wrestle what I wanted away from it. Living was a battle. Sometimes it was what I considered to be a virtuous battle; when it involved getting something for someone else, or it could be a selfish battle, but struggle was at the heart of it…always.
Back then, I don’t think I could have grasped the concept that life unfolds perfectly and that everything I needed (and this includes ideas, people, the right work, money, cars, inspiration, loving friendships…) comes to me in perfect, exquisite, timing. Maybe I would’ve believed this, but nobody I knew was talking about it and frankly, I liked action. I was someone who would walk a half hour out of my way, instead of waiting in line for 15 minutes. It was the standing still that I couldn’t tolerate, the apparent doing nothing that seemed like a waste of time. My mind was so busy trying to figure out how to make something happen, it didn’t have space to hear, see, or sense, that the thing I wanted was either already here, on its way, or possibly even something that I didn’t, deep down, want.
I also felt quite proud of the fact that (I thought) I could make most things happen. I believed in will power (at least my own). But a few years ago, this began to change. The words, “You are not doing this, Mary” started to repeat themselves in my head, so of course, I wrestled with them, trying to figure out what they meant. There can be just as much striving, struggling, and grasping, with things that are labeled as “spiritual” as those that are considered “material”…I’ve come to see that there is no difference. If I’m struggling to achieve enlightenment, inner peace, or happiness, then it is still my ego (even if it is sitting in the lotus position) trying to become something or someone it thinks it isn’t.
But eventually I stopped struggling (as much) with the concept that all of life is happening for me, that everything is unfolding perfectly, and that all of my needs are met, and I began to simply observe this spiritual truth. And the more that I observed it, the more I woke up, and began to see how harmonious life was. Years ago, I heard a teacher say, “The sense of struggle creates the struggle” and I didn’t understand this at all….but now I do, now I notice when I begin to worry and fight with life (people, places, and situations) in my mind and most of the time, all I need is a gentle reminder like the words, “All is well, or This is working out perfectly, even if you don’t understand how” to bring me back to center. Sometimes I’ll ask myself the question, “If I refused to worry about this, I wonder what would happen?”
So this might be something you would like to consider too. What if you believed that everything you needed/wanted was here or on its way into your life; that it could not be late, that you couldn’t miss it and the only thing you needed to do was to relax into this knowing. For me, I had to prove this for myself. I had to take it on blind faith that it was a spiritual truth and then I had to be open enough to see if it was Truth. I can tell you that it is, but the only way to move from knowing to Knowing is to walk it out yourself.
I invite you to walk this path with me today. If you try it, you will never be the same.