Unseen by those who feel empty, rejected by those full of regret, and feared by those who resist change… is this inescapable spiritual fact concerning emptiness, sorrow, or fear: our lives are full of what we fill them with!
Question: The past keeps coming into my thoughts when situations arise that bring rehearsed doom and gloom feelings that hamper the chance for success in the present. What do I do in that moment? Meditate? Pray? Try to think of another more pleasant time? I have trouble and fear with all of this. What is the mind to do at this point to overcome the present problem?
Answer: The great axiom in all such cases — that answers all questions arising up from out of them — is that resistance to the disturbance is the disturbance. This means that resistance — wishing the fear (or whatever) would go away — doesn’t actually create the distance we imagine it will between us and the suffering we want gone; resistance makes real what would be otherwise transformed by our quiet awareness of it, so instead of breaking free, we further encapsulate ourselves in that pain. The task is to see (which you will, if you persist with your wish to be free) that we are what we don’t want at that moment through an unconscious act of becoming identified with the negative state. We can’t escape these troublesome parts of ourselves; we can only outgrow them, like a child that loses interest in a favorite pair of shoes that are no longer comfortable to wear.
Here are five reasons why the interior work of remembering yourself should always come first:
1. An unattended mind is the breeding ground of self-defeat.
2. The temptation to be self-degrading can only be dropped by seeing the secret self-love in it. (Then, instead of looking down on yourself, you can begin to learn what it means — and what it costs — to look up and away from this false sense of self.)
3. Conscious efforts are always rewarded with increased consciousness.
4. Despite temporary manifestations, manipulated for the sake of appearances, you can’t treat any other human being any differently from the way you treat yourself.
5. Wasted energies are the same as lost opportunities.
To see the beauty in mother nature is to know some of this beauty in yourself. To awaken and see the perfect order of life, its wholeness and goodness, is to receive title to this eternal truth and to be given a measure of its perfect peace.