Question: It seems like the more I struggle with a disturbance, the more it stays with me. The more I think about it, the more intense it gets. What is the way out of this trap?
Answer: No disturbance of any kind has the power to swamp and sink our heart or mind once we realize that we are the one lending these storms the force they need to drag us down. In practical terms this means that whatever disturbances we unknowingly create within us may be instantly un-created in the very same moment we withdraw our consent to remain conflicted.
The storms we suffer are not born simply from any particular event that takes place, but rather they rise from an unknown ground in us due to our undetected resistance to them. Further, these unwanted events that we so strongly resist are not the actual events themselves. What we secretly struggle against in these moments are unwanted images of that event fashioned by ourselves. This occurs, for example, when we imagine a fearful future, or see ourselves thrown for a social loss of some sort. In these moments we suffer, as we do, because we are looking at what we don’t want to see. And then, because we don’t know that we have been tricked into giving these negative fantasies our attention, we try to imagine ways to escape their punishing presence. The more we struggle to get away, the more attention we inadvertently lend to what we wish would disappear! It’s a great paradox: not wanting to look upon what is bothering us keeps what is bothering us in plain view! But now we are beginning to see our way out of this trap.
From this moment forward, whenever some dark storm appears in us, we must neither run from it nor stand there and hate what we think is happening. Instead we must awaken to ourselves, bring ourselves back into the Now and quietly, deliberately, drop any image that our thought-nature presents within us to justify the brewing conflict. Learning to dismiss the storms that sink our chances to be happy takes dedicated inner work, but you may be assured such powers are possible. Your True Nature already dwells beyond the reach self-wrecking storms. Join it; begin Now!
Just as tumbling leaves in the wind make the wind visible, so does the need of someone — that stirs the heart of another to answer it — reveal the presence of a love greater than either person, yet that lives as one within both.
This time of year, all kinds of animals in nature are on the move, the leaves are swirling around, winter is bearing down upon us, and it’s hard to miss the fact that everything is changing… everything that is except for those parts of us that resist life’s natural changes and get fixated in self-punishing states.
Whenever you begin to feel “stuck” in some negativity, remember that real self-change begins with seeing that Real Life is change itself. This means there is no condition that can hold you captive without your unconscious cooperation. Withdraw it! Wake up! Walk out of yourself by changing how you see what you call your life. Realize that while the contents of your life may come and go, turn dark, or suddenly seem delightful — regardless — these things will pass.
Learn to look at any moment with the quiet understanding that, in reality, nothing in life is fixed. Knowing this to be true is power over what disturbs you. Resting in the awareness of this truth while working to stand upon its higher ground, you come upon the life within you whose nature is the unchanging witness of these movements. This self dwells outside of change, even as all that changes moves through it.
Thinking, or hoping, that any destination we have in mind is going to be superior to where we’re presently standing, is exactly why we’re still standing in that same place where we have to hope that some tomorrow will be better.
Before we can change our destination and arrive in that higher world we want, before we can ever start out in that new direction that leads to liberation, we must wake up to the steps we’re being given to take by a nature whose favorite direction is down.
Victory over our own lower nature is now or never. You can’t end conflict later. You can’t stop being sad, or cruel, or angry, or scared, or anxious later. Later does not exist in reality.
And so it’s imperative to meet each moment of your life with this realization: it’s only what you do right now that is the seed of change. And in the endless beauty and mystery of what is the now, this same seed of change is also the seed of a New Self. Here’s why this is true. If you choose to change right now, then you won’t have to worry about how to be different next time!
In fact, choose to change now, and that moment will never come for you to worry about how to be better next time. Again, here’s why. Your conscious choice for real change in the present moment automatically cancels the need for a better you in a better future. All will be better for you now, which is the only time it really matters!