Most of us have found ourselves washed away, overcome by a flood of punishing thoughts and feelings. Picture a desperate man being swept down a river, grabbing onto whatever comes along, and itâ€™s easy to see how we end up clinging to things that — rather than saving us — actually serve to further sink us. From the frying pan into the fire is the expression that defines â€śbad bounceâ€ť relationships, addictions, and a host of other self-compromising acts meant to end oneâ€™s misery, not extend it.
There is only one reason any pain has the power to command us as it does. We have forgotten this one great rescuing truth: no dark state has authority over who we really are! This is spiritual fact, pure and simple; but why canâ€™t we remember it in our hour of need?
The answer is somewhat shocking: in those moments when the light that lives within us is meant to transform whatever troubles us into a new and higher form of self-understanding, it is we who get transformed into that trouble itself! We become the very negative state we donâ€™t want by identifying with our resistance to it. And we all know what happens next. It is no longer we who meet life, who welcomes the lessons it brings; instead the conflict we are in goes before us, as do dark clouds before the storm.
Every one of us knows — from somewhere deep in the heart of us — we were not created to spend our lives contesting whatever dominates us in the moment. And yet, we can see how each unwanted state that washes over us is replaced by another state of some similar ilk. It’s pretty clear: Whatâ€™s needed is a whole new way to ask life for what it is we really want — to live from an unshakable self that cannot be made to act against itself or anyone else.
Our True Self is the unshakable Ground over which all â€śwavesâ€ť of thoughts and feelings both move and break. And just as light doesnâ€™t fight with shadows for fear of what they portend, neither need we ever do anything towards our interior troubles except meet them from this timeless Ground within us. This willingness to be inwardly still and take no action towards our interior troubles is one and the same as our new request. How so? Deliberate non-action towards whatever threatens to wash us away is the same as asking our God to lift us above these troublesome waves.
The beauty of making this new kind of conscious request is that the rescuing response to it is immediate — only in ways formerly unimaginable to us! Hereâ€™s just a hint of what we see each time we â€śchoose the higher Groundâ€ť instead of habitually identifying with negative thoughts and feelings:
We realize these various mental and emotional states are visitors, not who we are. We see that while negative states are within us, they are not our true nature any more than super-heated deep-sea vents are the same as the waters they warm. And by our choice to remain aware of their presence within us — instead of identifying with the pain they bring — we are instantly â€śtransportedâ€ť to that higher Ground within us: a higher state of our present self that dwells worlds above the waves that used to sink us.
Practice this new interior understanding that starts with remembering the truth of yourself. Learn what it means to seek out and stand on the unshakable Ground of True Self. Be one with who you really are and the waves of a thousand passing worlds cannot wash you away.