Awake in the World

When I was an adolescent I possessed a lifelike doll that stood about two feet high. My mind was troubled with many anxieties and not much affection or warmth at home.  When I needed support and protection I would wrap the doll’s arms around me and imagine that it would hold and protect me as I slept through the night. I felt wracked with fears and pain and this soothed my nerves. I loved the doll, but finally gave it up when I realized that in reality it could not give me anything. It was only a doll. All of the warmth and love that I’d felt from it actually came from within me. 

Now that I’ve grown, I see the same thing happens time and time again with people. I imagine the world around me will fulfill my needs and give joy. But the world is reflection, reaction and resound. Very often what is within my own heart, mind and emotions is reflected back to me through the company I keep. The desired support, love and compassion that I seek is also what I give.

Nothing outside of us can give any true and certain satisfaction. The real joy and love we seek is right here in our own hearts. Like the doll that I imagined was fulfilling my needs I imagine that a friend or mate will do the same and satisfy my yearnings. Hindu tradition says that we are Sath, Chith, Ananda – Truth, Awareness, Bliss and that all that we need is within us. The real peace we yearn for comes through seeing the world as a reflection of ourselves and accepting it as it is.

Relationships become important as ways to grow and learn, but the fall comes in expecting them to give wholeness and fulfillment. They may guide us towards that end and to the deeper realization that all that is sought is already within us. We’re lacking nothing. Through loving others we find the love that is within us.

 Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at

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