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Imperfect Awakening

I’m not a spiritual teacher or a psychologist.  I don’t have a PhD or an MD.  I am not a pastor or a priest and although I believe in something bigger than myself, I wouldn’t call myself religious.  I am a 45 year old work-from-home woman who feels showering is a major accomplishment (and shaving my legs gets a gold star), a mother who gets bored during 3 hour soccer practices and a wife who wonders if they have “pick up your shoes” classes for my husband.

Two years ago I had everything I thought I wanted; I wouldn’t say I was happy but I wouldn’t say I was unhappy either.  Although I often looked at my life and wondered if this was all there was, since I couldn’t think of anything else I could possibly want, I would answer the question with a yes and move on to the next to-do. 

Then, BLAMMO, life started adding more (and more and more) to-do’s to my already lengthy list.  One thing after another happened and the tenuous balancing act I had created in my life to keep myself comfortably between happy and unhappy came violently crashing down.

These are my brutally honest stories about my continuing trip (sometimes kicking and screaming) into “more.”  Thank you for coming and I hope you enjoy reading about my ride! 

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THE Breakthrough

 The BIG AHA!  In a split second, I “got it” so fully that absolutely everything changed. My entire perspective shifted… the concept:  YOU (the big YOU) are bigger, broader and deeper than your thoughts…..YOU are not your thoughts.   

Before this moment, I always believed my thoughts were me and made me… well, me.  My thoughts were one of my strengths; they were the reason I graduated from college and law school and was good at my job.  My thoughts guided my decisions and directed my life; I wholeheartedly believed the voice in my head.  However, in a split second, BLAM!!!… all gone. 

I was in my car listening to the audio version of Eckhert Tolle’s book, the Power of Now.  I was at the very beginning of the book listening to Tolle tell the story of his awakening.  He described waking up early one morning feeling absolute dread.  Miserable and questioning why he should continue living, he began repeating the words, “I cannot live with myself any longer” to himself.  Suddenly, he was struck by how “peculiar” the thought was.  If “I” cannot live with “myself” then there must be a separate “I” and a separate “self.”    

With those words, I GOT IT.  The full breadth of this realization took my breath away.  I spent the next hour of my commute in the car with my mind racing.  I ran through life events like a flip-book on crack.  Every event looked different, felt different, seemed different…. In that one second, my entire perspective had shifted. 

YOU and your thoughts are not the same.  YOU are the one listening to your thoughts.   Your thoughts are talking and YOU hear them. YOU are the observer, the observer of your thoughts.  YOU and your thoughts are separate and independent and because of that, YOU have the ability to believe their ranting’s … or not.    

For 40 years I had believed that the voice in my head WAS ME.  For over 40 years I listened to the voice, believed the voice and acted accordingly.  Understanding that this was not true changed everything and changed the trajectory of my “pulling myself out of the dark hole” self-work from action focused (i.e. tell me what to DO, what to SAY, how to ACT) to one that was deeper, bigger… well, spiritual.  

 

Thoughts aren’t YOU.  

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