I wonder when I chose this journey I’m on.
Was it on a soul level, prior to incarnating? Did I choose the lessons I was to learn and then let the flow of life show me the specifics? Or did I choose the who’s and the what’s too?
I suppose it doesn’t matter.
Everyone has their own truth. Not just about the meaning of life (or lack thereof), but about anything. What constitutes a good or a bad movie, for instance. A viewpoint on guns, on vegetarianism, on sexuality, equality, and even icecream flavors.
One person knows that butter pecan is the best, while her sister knows that coffee icecream is far superior.
Who is right?
Is it possible for two people (or more) to be simultaneously correct, even though their individual truths clash and contradict one other?
And how can a butter pecan-loving person ever possibly convince a coffee-loving person that butter pecan is better? Is it possible? Is it a mindset? A collection of memories that led to this choice? Or is it even a choice? Is it physiological, where one person’s brain chemistry or blood type or endocrine system deciphers whether chocolate or vanilla tastes better?
Or should we even try to convince one another? Is the lesson less about convincing and more about accepting?
I suppose it doesn’t matter.
Taste changes, too. One person can be fully decided upon something… A food, a belief, an exercise regimen, a mate. They are 100% sure of this decision, and can’t foresee a future without this reality.
And yet… Years or months or even weeks or days later, something can happen and totally shift this perspective. Sometimes it’s an obvious experience, one that rattles or awakens a person.
Other times it feels more like a veil slowly lifted from the inside of one’s eyes. The rose colored lens slowly transitions into a blue hue, or green, or gray.
And through each of these, our reality changes (or does it?) and we then 100% believe in this other view.
Reality doesn’t change in these instances; only our opinion of it does.
Like a computer program viewing a seemingly harmless email, only to discover it holds a virus.
Or a person meeting someone new and knowing that person is rude and stand-offish, only to discover she’s deep, nurturing, and very loving.
Suffering, I think, comes from the idea that we know what we’re talking about. It comes from applying labels and definitions to everything around us, which is something we do constantly.
It comes from the idea that we can predict the future based on our past and our now. That’s what our sweet brains want to do: predict the future so that we can stay safe and alive.
When we project (and attempt to protect) too far into the future, or even get attached to how we think a presentation should go in another 30 minutes, or what a person ought to be wearing or saying in this present moment, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.
If our future goes as we desire it to, we feel momentarily relieved, only to set up another expectation with near immediacy.
If it goes rogue, off of our charts and our maps (which were limited to only what we’ve seen and heard and read about life, from personal experiences or stories or books by other people through their own colored lenses), we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory.
This can be looked at as one of two things (or more, to be sure, but these are the main two that come to mind):
- Terrifying disaster. Reaction: sulk, panic, and do best to backtrack into known territory.
- Exciting freedom. Reaction: place hands out in front of self and take wobbly blind steps forward.
There are many layers to this, many books written and workshops taught.
And I don’t write this or think this in an effort to figure anything out. I’m not looking for specific answers or attempting to convince you that my belief of chocolate chip cookies’ superiority to oatmeal raisin cookies is THE way to go. I’m simply sharing my experience, in hopes that it sparks something within you.
For the majority of my life, I reacted as if the unknown was a terrifying disaster. Now, I’m learning to see it as exciting freedom. And yet, it’s more than just words about it. It’s more than me saying “Uncertainty yields growth! Trust your intuition!” and the like.
It’s me actually following through on these words. Continuing to move forward, even though I am waaaaaay off the map I originally held so dear. It’s a whole new world out there… And in here.
I don’t know if I planned this life… If I embedded my dreams within me… If I planted this yearning for more in the molecules dancing inside my cells. All I know is that, by listening to this inner pull, it is becoming louder. Clearer.
And the result is a set of lenses that allow me to see beyond linear time. To feel into the truth of my existence, of our existence. Of how tiny and big we are, all at the same time.
This awakening I am experiencing is shaking up my life. And I am continuing to trust it. Because, with my current belief/knowledge of who I am and why I’m here, I feel excited to be alive. I feel like I’ve worked so hard to get here, right now, to this lifetime.
And I’m ready.