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Singer and songwriter K.D. Lang released a song in 1992 that to date is the most popular song she has ever produced. I must admit that when I first heard it I had no idea what it meant or what the lyrics actually were. At that time in my life I actually believed the lyrics were, “I’m going crazy and have always been.” I indeed thought that I was crazy and I thought there was no way out. Thirty six years later and I had an epiphany moment. Silly me, the hook lyrics are, “Constant Craving has always been”. I want to take this opportunity with you to explore these simple yet profoundly meaningful lyrics. I believe they contain a clear and beautiful message valuable to our growth as evolving souls of light and love.
For those of you who want to hear a beautiful rendition of this song performed by K.D. Lang, click on the youtube icon.
The gist of the lyrics are:
“Even through the darkest phase be it thick or thin/
Always someone marches brave here beneath my skin/
Constant Craving has always been/
Maybe a great magnet pulls all souls to what’s true, or maybe it is life itself/
That feeds wisdom to its youth.”
Even through the darkest phase be it thick or thin: Life has it “ups and downs.” We experience our light and darkness. Our pain and joys…laughter and tears. As human beings we need to experience the full range of experiences that life has to offer. We cannot know ourselves as awake consciousness without them.
Always someone marches brave here beneath my skin: To me this is referring to our soul. That part of us that are connected to God (i.e. Source, Love, Universal Truth, Higher Self) the part of ourselves that is rooted in unchanging unwavering truth that life is perfect and we are innately peaceful beings.
Constant Craving has always been: The constant craving refers to innate urge in human beings to step off the roller coaster of life’s ups and downs; ending the suffering that emotional pain can lead to if we remain asleep in our ego consciousness. To understand that life is beautiful in the moment, NOW and in every now. Allowing everything to be exactly as it is.
Maybe a great magnet pulls all souls to what’s true: The magnet is the interplay between emotional pain that arises from ego consciousness and the peace of the soul. Emotional pain hurts, which triggers a response to find a way out of pain. This is known commonly as the process of “waking up.” Waking up is optional for everyone. You do not need to wake up if you do not want to. If the urge in a human being is strong enough, a person will be driven towards the truth of the soul.
Or maybe it is life itself that feeds wisdom to its youth: Life indeed feeds wisdom to its youth. As we evolve in our journey to connect with our soul we regain the wisdom and innocence of youth. The innocence of being uncomplicated and simple, like a child, while simultaneously accompanied with the full love and unwavering support of a mature adult that we inevitably become and realize. Ego is not longer rejected or killed, but rather loved and revered as a divine helper in life. Gone are the false ego driven beliefs that created and perpetuated our suffering. Those beliefs when they were formed did in fact serve a holy purpose. They helped us make sense of a big scary and confusing world, but as the wisdom of our soul becomes more revealed and clear to us, are no longer needed. I am not saying that waking up produces a pain free life. I am saying that in life there is pain and suffering. Pain is stubbing your toe; suffering is the story of how you stubbed your toe and why such bad things always happen to you, and how you are looking for another similar or worse event to occur in the near future. Pain in life is inevitable. Suffering is optional. The alarm is ringing; do you want to wake up? Do you have that constant craving?
Did you know that you do not have to physically kill yourself to commit suicide? As I reflect back on my life I realize that I was committing suicide, albeit unconsciously. Since everything in life has a divine purpose, my unconscious acts of internal self abuse are no less different. On one hand, ironically, self abuse somehow made my life “easier”, but in reality made my life difficult. I wish to share some of my observations with you; perhaps you are engaging in the similar behaviors. If you are, you may want to know. You may want to know because committing suicide without physical death brings emotional pain. Emotional pain is not necessarily a ‘bad’ thing, but you will rob you of what peacefulness and joy you can experience right now. The good news is that pain doesn’t have to be your everyday reality and something that you must live with. Let’s dive in and see how I committed suicide without physically killing myself.
I made assumptions about how everyone around me was feeling. I felt that I knew who liked me and who didn’t. I would distance myself from those who I felt did not like me and attempt to bring those who did closer to me. I made assumptions about how others were feeling and why they feel the way they do. These assumptions led me to a plethora of internal emotional experiences. I was overrun by feelings of guilt anger shame and depression. The reality is I have no clue how anyone feels. Assumptions and beliefs that are not accurate allow for behaviors that could keep you feeling lonely and isolated from others. If this is your pattern, you could be losing out on relationships with people. I had an experience with someone who I thought was dismissive of me. I based my conclusion on the fact that I hadn’t heard anything from him in a long period of time. One afternoon I allowed myself to drop that assumption. I decided to call this particular individual. After speaking with him I learned that my belief was far from the truth. I learned that this individual wanted to work as a team and was delighted to hear from me. If I had stuck to my inaccurate position I never would have made the call. I was needlessly angry and disappointed with this person. I felt ignored and disrespected. I could have easily continued that stance for as long as I felt justified. Looking back I created a ton of negative emotional angst, playing the victim role, all for nothing. What are the possibilities for you if you could drop your assumptions of how and what people think and feel about you?
I avoided doing things that ultimately make me feel good. Procrastination and ignoring daily tasks and obligations felt easier. This method worked however only for a short while. Time inevitably runs out and I would have to rush to get things done. Afraid of making wrong decisions, I spent my life letting choices “make themselves”. I also never realized that doing things in a timely matter would make me feel so much better. I was living with pain the pain of not doing. An example from my life is that I used to ignore my finances. I would have a rough idea of how much money I had in the bank, but not know exactly. Every time I would write a check or use my ATM card I would have that old familiar knot in my gut saying, “is this transaction going to get declined?” I never would have felt the relief that I now experience knowing exactly what is in my account. I can now trade my anxiety for a feeling of safety by being responsible with my finances.
I hated myself. Feelings of self degradation pervaded my life. I carried so much self hatred and rejection that I automatically would keep myself from experiencing any happiness. I found that internal hurt was easy to inflict. I would reject and nullify myself before others did, which kept me from feeling the pain of rejection of others when it finally occurred.
I tried to make my death look accidental vs. intentional. I was a huge risk taker. Any opportunity to harm myself without harming others was a welcome moment. I purposely put myself into harm’s way.
I lived my life in a constant state of fear and unbearable physical tension. This was without question, the worst feeling of all. I could never relax. The relentless feeling of the knot in my stomach was enough to make me want to die. I worried about absolutely everything. I thought that my life had to look a certain way. I thought I knew what I needed and wanted, and if I didn’t get it, anxiety was the price I paid. I based my self worth on external things, like how much money I had or didn’t have. Looking deeply at everything I discovered that at the core of everything I feared my own mortality. That is the irony of the whole story of our lives. We fear what we don’t want, which leaves us with…fear.
I discovered that these old ways of functioning in the world was my way of saying, “NO” to life. So while I was not physically dead, I was a walking dead person. I was living life with the brakes on. I learned that I was living my life through something called “ego consciousness”. The good news is we can constructively use the emotional pain that ego consciousness generates, to free ourselves from our suffering. Start by allowing yourself and be willing to look deep within and see what beliefs you are holding on to. Do this without judgment. Be willing to see if your beliefs are really true without exception. As you discover how these beliefs work in your day to day life, you can start to open up to another reality. Something refreshing and different will begin to show up. Take some time to explore what arises. You will be pleasantly surprised.
It’s almost the New Year and many people are formulating New Year Resolutions. Whatever you may or may not be planning, here are some things I believe with even a modest amount of attention on your part will let 2019 be a good year.
Allow yourself to notice when you are engaging in comparisons. This includes comparing yourself to others, your past self, or your “ideal self.” For example, I used to run competitively. Five decades later, I am not able to run nearly as fast as I used to. I allow myself to notice and embrace the difference and focus on sheer enjoyment of movement and exercise. In my not so distant past I may have gotten angry and given up running altogether. I have clients tell me they notice their friends are, “handling their lives better than they are.” The reality is we don’t actually know how anyone is truly feeling. The person you believe is “calm and collected” may actually be a burning inferno of emotion and uneasiness on the inside. The idea here is to become aware that you are engaging in comparison. Gently embrace this idea and inform yourself that what you believe may not be true. As you allow this realization to permeate your consciousness see what new insights and ideas you uncover.
Understand your fears for what they are. Fear imposes limitations and can keep you from living a life of infinite possibilities. Perhaps you want to try something, like start a business, or learn a new skill. Fear dictates, “I am afraid to fail." The question you can ask at this point is, “am I willing to test my belief and consider the possibility that I will not fail?” If you never try, you will be guaranteeing the failure you fear. The difference between can and can’t is the letter “t”. In this case the letter “t” stands for TRY. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Do not let fear stop you from your passion.
Live your life in the NOW. Fears originate and are sustained in projections about the future. We are never afraid of what we don’t know; (because there is absolutely NO thing to know), we are always afraid of what we THINK we know. I was chatting with a man who expressed his fear of going on his “first vacation ever.” He conveyed his belief that “he is totally incapable of being able to have fun and relax." I asked him if he could PROVE and GUARANTEE this belief would still be true a day, week, or a month from now. He thought for a while and said, “No”. I asked him to consider that since he could not prove or guarantee his belief, if he could see it's arbitrary nature. He shook his head yes, and after a bit of reflection, stated that he is actually starting to feel excited about his trip. His arbitrary belief in the past projected into his future, simultaneously ruining his present moment. Notice that when you are afraid, you are in a future that hasn’t happened yet. A wise teacher once told me, “you can’t breathe tomorrow’s air today.” Allow yourself to start to apply this principle to your own life, and observe what happens.
Love and be kind to yourself. So much of our suffering is internal self degradation. We don’t need nor do we want others to hurt us. It is ironic that we are often willing to abuse ourselves. Many people engage in this behavior whether consciously or not. Here is an analogy I can offer. If someone is hitting you with a steel pipe, you are in trouble. To get that person to stop, you must somehow find a way to get the pipe away from them. That is not going to be easy. If you are hitting yourself with a steel pipe, the good news is all you need to do is simply drop the pipe. The simple act of noticing is the key here As you notice the habit of picking up and putting down the pipe, the more likely you will find yourself putting it down. The idea behind this is, awareness heals.
Let your past be where it is… In the past. Much of our suffering is a result of looking back and saying, “if only." Take this opportunity to reflect about something you regret. Ask yourself if could you could have done anything differently. You may answer yes, but if that was absolutely true you certainly would have. Reality dictates that whatever happened in that moment was the only thing that could have happened. What you will begin to notice is "if only" thinking perpetuates needless self abuse You can not undue what happened, you can learn from it while fostering a more loving relationship with yourself right now.
I offer these ideas for you to consider applying in your life in 2019. Take notice of what happens when you do. It is my prayer that you have a beautiful and fulfilling New Year.
Often times I see parents who believe: I have to worry about my children…Right?? You may not be a parent, but perhaps a son or daughter worried about a parent(s), or any important person in your life. “Look at all the terrible things happening in the world. I can’t even feel safe sending my kids to school.” While it is true parents have to provide food clothing and shelter and a safe environment, is fear a requirement for raising healthy children? Is fear a requirement for a child or spouse to harbor to maintain the well being of a significant other?
Let’s examine the fear dynamic. Does the fear you harbor inside of yourself have any impact on the life experiences of the people you love and care about? No. Fear has no impact whatsoever on the lives of the people you care about.
Children in particular are very perceptive and know how their parents feel. The child who senses that the parent is worried will inevitably conclude that they are the reason for their parent’s anxiety and blame themselves. What occurs is a vicious cycle, parent stresses about child, which increases stress levels in the children, which then feeds the stress levels in the parent.
Anxiety decreases the confidence of the parent and interferes with the natural flow of life. Parents who make decisions from a place of fear will make vastly different choices when coming from those coming from a place of love and peace. For example, parents may limit their children from participating in worthwhile activities based solely on their own fears of such activities. Fear may result in a healthy child heading into a therapist’s office because the child is developing in a manner that differs from the parent’s expectations. In a case like this, well intentioned parents feel that they have somehow failed their child.
So what is the way out of the madness? Let’s examine the reason why fear exists in the first place.
Interactions I have with my clients go like this:
CLIENT: Yes, I can let go of my fear, but that would mean I don’t care? Right?
ME: Well…could you not care?
CLIENT: Well…NO absolutely not.
ME: So let’s look at what you’re saying without words. You care whether you’re harboring anxiety or not. So…What is the anxiety doing for you personally?
PARENT: Nothing, except making me sick!!!
This brings us back to the original point. Fear will change nothing except make for a stressed out parent. Fear is not indicative of nor proof of love for a child. When we can gradually begin to lift out of a fear mindset, many positive things can begin to occur. The children spontaneously become less anxious simply because the parent has done their own healing. Parents automatically feel better as the burden of anxiety is lifted.
As parents we want to do what is best for our children. As human beings we want the best for those we love and care about. Think about this for a while and see what happens as you start to realize the difference between love and fear. The results will be uplifting.
Know the feeling?? I think we all do. We feel like one wrong step and well….we don’t want to go there. Literally or figuratively. Is that our reality? Is that how life is??
While the cable is thin and suspended high above the ground, we need to realize that to the person on the cable that is their only source of stability. We have an advantage over the tightrope walker in that we have nowhere to fall. You may already feel nervous angry or depressed. So indeed you have “fallen”, but you are not harmed in a real sense. What you need to realize is that you are here. Your life is not over.
There is a documentary film entitled Man On Wire about Philippe Petit who in 1974 walked on a high wire between the towers of the World Trade Center. He was living in France as a 17 year old who immersed his life in high wire walking. He was at his dentist’s office going through a magazine when he saw a picture of the towers and he remembered thinking to himself that it was as if the buildings were being built for him. Years passed and his obsession with the towers grew. He spent countless hours practicing and simulating the walk. He had to spend another amount of countless hours figuring out how to elude security to achieve his dream. He was quoted as saying the following:
“If I die what a beautiful death… To die doing your passion.”
What can we gain from this?
Reflecting back on his fateful walk between the towers he said,
“I had to make a decision by shifting my weight from one foot anchored on the building to one foot on the wire. This is probably…I don’t know…the end of my life to step on that wire. On the other hand something that I could not resist and I didn’t make any effort to resist, called me up on the cable… and death was very close.”
Yes, he had the feeling of fear. He had to rely on others to help him rig the wire between the towers, and he wasn’t able to personally oversee the entire process. He could not guarantee that the team members did it correctly. He did not allow his fear to stop him. He had to allow himself to be at the mercy of the weather, which in New York could be very windy on any given day. By the end of his performance, he had made a total of eight crossings over a forty five minute span. He took time to kneel down and salute the crowd that had gathered below him. He even took time to lie down on his back.
For him the decision to step out on the wire was easy. He was driven and determined to follow his dream. Yes, he was afraid for his mortality, but his attention demanded more, his LIFE demanded more. He chose to pay more attention to his life force than his fear. He directed his attention to what he knew was more real. In the end he accomplished what he had set out to do.
Philippe went on to say, “I like everybody else, have a certain fear of heights, and I have to be very careful when I am in the clouds, but it is also what I love; it is my domain, so when you love something, you don't have fear.”
So when it comes to our own lives, we have to love life more than fear. Philippe has a passion for life and lives it to the fullest. He acknowledges his fear, but he doesn’t heed it. Fear will keep you small and prevent you from the passion of your life. In closing Philippe is quoted as saying, “Faith is what replaces doubt in my dictionary.”
Let us all take a lesson from a tight rope walker. We after all, have our feet on the ground.
© 2018 Michael Morris, MA, LLP
We heard so much about the soccer team that was rescued from the cave. There is so much we can learn from this experience. How did you react when you heard about the drama as it unfolded? Were you nervous? Did it reinforce your fear of closed in spaces? Were you thinking that they were not going to be rescued and they would die in an underground tomb? How did you feel when they were rescued?
The reason I am writing about this today is because if you had asked those young boys how their day was going to go, never would have told you that they were going to get caught in a cave for two weeks with no food and little water. They were trapped in a massive underground structure with no way to signal anyone as to their whereabouts. So what can we glean that would be useful to us living our lives on a daily basis?
Lesson # 1. Life doesn’t always go the way we plan. Prior to the exploration of the cave they didn’t know there was going to be a two week departure from their daily routine. Prior to the event happening none of them most likely ever worried about their survival in such a concrete way.
Did you worry about them and their survival? I’m certain that most everyone experienced feelings as the drama unfolded. Some people probably felt hopeful for them, others nervous for them. However the question needs to be asked, how much anxiety did you feel for them? Did it preoccupy you day? Even if it didn’t preoccupy your day, did your worry for them have any direct or indirect impact on them? What would happen if you didn’t worry about them? Would it mean that you didn’t care?
Lesson #2. Worrying doesn’t have any effect on the world or anything that happens in the world. When you worry, you only affect yourself and how you view and see the world. When you worry you look at the world through that lens and more worry get reflected back at you. Worry will only reinforce worry.
I was really struck by the news reports that said that the boys were in good spirits when they were discovered. Since there is no way of knowing exactly how they were feeling prior to being discovered, it is nice to know that they were described as being in good spirits. What if they themselves were a group of nervous youngsters? What would the effect of anxiety have on their physical bodies? We all know what anxiety feels like, could their bodies survive with the added stress to an already stressful situation? Perhaps the coach was the stabilizing factor. Or perhaps one or more of the children themselves were.
Lesson #3. One person can make a difference in the whole dynamic of a group. Never underestimate the power of one person who can change everything in a group dynamic. One reassuring presence can influence a crowd. They could have lost all hope and the results could have been different if their bodies could not sustain them during their ordeal. The reality is that in every moment they were still alive and that was all that was really required. Remember they had no way of even knowing that efforts were underway to rescue them.
How did you feel when they were rescued? I know from my own personal experience I was moved to see how the world celebrated. I watched how people were celebrating the safe return young boys who prior to the whole incident no one knew. I felt a sense of gratitude for their safety. I felt some sadness for the rescue worker who died. We have no idea what the life’s mission of that particular rescuer was. Perhaps his life’s mission was to facilitate the rescue of those boys. Perhaps the rescue mission would not have been successful if not for the presence of the one who died and the contributions he made to the effort as a whole.
The mission was not easy. Sophisticated technology was used to determine their exact location in the cave. The flooding that occurred meant that there was a tremendous amount of water that needed to be removed before the rescue workers were able to reach the stranded boys. The water was removed pumped out gradually, over time, until it reached a level that was passable for the divers to reach them.
Lesson 4: Life is about taking steps and not quitting. The rescue efforts could have been aborted if they felt that removing small amounts of water at a time was not enough. The water did not have to be removed all at once. They had a plan and they stuck to it.
To me, the example of the cave is an extreme example of how to live our lives to the fullest every day. As long as you have life, you always have possibilities. Nothing is impossible. The very fact that you can conceive of something makes it possible. No matter what the odds look like it really means nothing, because everything is possible. Life calls for flexibility, a willingness on our part to not be so determined to have everything go the way we want it to. Life includes everything even the certainty of death of the physical body. Know that it is the body that dies, not our eternal soul. Celebrate and make the most of your time here now. It is a gift. Do the things that you feel are in alignment with who you are, even if you think that it cannot be done. If these young boys can survive in a cave for two weeks in cave with no idea that anyone would find them, how bad is your own personal situation? You are reading these words…you are here NOW. Go make the most of it.
© Michael S. Morris, MA LLP
There is a beautiful song written by Cat Stevens called,
"Don't Be Shy"
The lyrics are:
Don't be shy just let your feelings roll on by
Don't wear fear or nobody will know you're there
Just lift your head, and let your feelings out instead
And don't be shy, just let your feeling roll on by
You know love is better than a song
Love is where all of us belong
So don't be shy just let your feelings roll on by
Don't wear fear or nobody will know you're there
Don't be shy just let your feelings roll on by
Don't wear fear or nobody will know you're there
Just lift your head, and let your feelings out instead
And don't be shy, just let your feeling roll on by
On by, on by...
Don't Be Shy lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Shyness is a form of fear. In this form, fear will allow no one to see you. This form of fear will keep you isolated; alone and could potentially lead to depression. You will not be able to feel your life in any positive way. So what about the line of just lift your head and let your feelings out instead? Is it that simple?
No. We don’t want to go through life lifting our heads and letting everything out. We might say or do something we didn’t really mean in a fit of anger or fear or sadness. The lyrics talk about letting your feelings roll on by. Yes, this is more the case. Compare feelings to waves on the ocean. The ocean is a busy place, tsunamis, waves of all sizes to areas of the ocean where you can see your reflection in something that appears to be as smooth as glass. The point is that no matter what is going on with the ocean at any particular place, the ocean itself is undisturbed. The ocean is just being as it is. Like waves in the ocean, your feelings do indeed come and go. You are never locked into any particular feeling forever. To successfully realize this one must be willing to take a step back and see if this is really true. Yes, you might feel like you are trapped within the grip of anxiety, but even if you think you are, don’t you ever find yourself laughing at something you heard or saw? In that moment you were free of your anxiety as the joy of what you experienced took fear’s place. So this is what the lyrics are really referring to. If you can watch your feelings roll on by, you will notice that they are in no way permanent.
Which leads me to the next point of the lyrics…
‘Love is better than a song and where we belong’: Love is where our natural state of being rests. The reason we are unaware of this is because negative feelings cover over our natural state. We spend so much time dwelling on our fears anger and sadness, that we never feel our true nature. When we cease to see our feelings as being who we are, we can begin to realize that they are merely an experience that we are having in the moment. When you allow the feelings to ‘roll on by’ we can begin to see that they merely come and go. We can experience our feelings as the color of life, each feeling having a different shade. We can’t expect life to be just the colors we want, nor can we eliminate colors from the spectrum. We can soon be able to enjoy all the colors life has to offer. It is only from this place where we can begin to feel our love.
Having this knowledge will ultimately make you feel better right away. So don’t be shy, just let your feelings roll on by and have a good day!
What if everything that happens is neutral? Has no good or bad attached to it. What if everything in life is just open to interpretation? That everything is just our personal spin on the issue. We hear so much these days about fake news, and its hard to know what is real and what is not. What if it was all fake news? How would that feel? You’d never really take anything very seriously. Would that be a relief? I bet it would.
We are a product of our pain and our programming. What makes us hurt emotionally is nothing more than a spin on something that we decided the meaning of. Emotional pain is a divine tool to be used to discover what is really true. The truth is everything is true. The truth is that nothing is true. Confused? Perhaps your mind is .
At this point allow yourself to merely notice the thoughts but do not engage with them to any large extent. Rather and preferably take some time to allow yourself to feel the inherent space between these two statements. Say each phrase one at a time noticing how each one feels. Keep repeating them over and over again keeping your attention on the feelings and sensations you experience as they are repeated. What you will find is that the truth is somewhere in the middle leaving you feeling more peaceful and easy. Fake News??? REALLY?!?!
© 2018 Michael S Morris, MA LLP
And freedom tastes of reality
An' I'm waiting for you to follow me
If I told you what it takes
To reach the highest high
You'd laugh and say 'nothing's that simple'
But you've been told many times before
Messiahs pointed to the door
And no one had the guts to leave the temple!
And freedom tastes of reality
An' I'm waiting for you to follow me
How can we follow?
How can we follow?
Songwriters: Pete Townshend
I'm Free lyrics © Spirit Music Group
These lyrics are a perfect expression of the joy that is quickly becoming more and more of my life. I am learning that I can have fear, I don’t have to BE fear. I can have any feeling, I am not nor do I have to BE any feeling. My feelings are not me. I am finding myself becoming less of a slave to my ego. My ego is so constricted, and ironically that constriction has allowed me the ability to walk out of its grasp. I am starting to feel more alive every day. I can see that my egoic self is small and has robbed me of the joy in my life. My egoic desires cannot ever be truly met, which leads me to never experience happiness except for fleeting moments. I rest in the now, I realize that I cannot be anywhere else but in this now. In this now, all my needs are met. The stillness is overwhelming. Any words I might use fall short of what I am feeling. To say peaceful is an understatement.
The lyrics speak of a Messiah that knocks on the door. Who or what is this Messiah? The Messiah is YOU. It is your “suffering”. Have you reached the point where your suffering is enough? Do you want to continue to ride the rollercoaster of your emotions and continue the torture? Can you begin to see the suffering as your ticket home to an ever constant peace that is never lost to you?
Do you have the guts to leave the temple? What temple? The temple of the ego. The temple that creates the very suffering that you are looking to free yourself from. Leaving the temple can feel nearly impossible. Chances are you have lived in this temple for most your life. It is likely that you have had glimpses, of moments of time when you have left the temple. Those times when you have realized that stillness, when all worries, concerns and feelings of separation are gone. At those times the logical mind will kick in and tell you that it time to leave and go “home”. After all, you cannot live in that world forever. How would anything get done? How can a person function in that space? What…NO PROBLEMS??? REALLY?? That just can’t be real. Life is full of problems and they need to be solved. “If I don’t worry about this stuff, who will do anything about it?”
Is it easy? Yes, you will need to practice. Practice what? Allowing yourself to just be in the current moment over and over again. The ego will want to pull you out, and you will more than likely heed its call. Gently returning to the now is the key and when you are pulled out you return again. Repeat this process over and over and over again. That process holds your focus until the now is the only place you rest.
Finally, the lyrics ask “How can we follow?” The only answer to that is, “Only if you want to.” Following is completely optional. No one will ever force you to go anywhere you don’t want to go.
Terminal Illness...A Blessing or a Curse?
I was talking with a colleague yesterday who works with people who were given a terminal diagnosis. No one wants to hear that they have perhaps months or less than a year to live. It is devastating for the person who receives the diagnosis and for their families. It is her job to help everyone cope with such news, and offer support to the patient and family. What is a person to do when such news is given to them? The answer to this question is the subject of this blog post.
When you stop to think about it we are all terminal. From the moment of our conception, we start the process of dying. We just don’t know exactly when that will be. For the person who receives a diagnosis, that unknown becomes a bit more certain. I say ‘bit’ because even medical science as advanced and as all knowing it appears to be is still wrong. I think nearly everyone knows of or has heard of someone who has beaten the odds, or lived longer than ever expected.
The key is a person’s response to the news itself. A person can react in a positive or negative way. A negative response is a person reacting with fear, anger, and depression. A person who reacts in this manner needs to examine a few things. First, did they worry about the diagnosis before it was given? Why would they? They did not know the condition even existed (even though it existed in them before a formal diagnosis.) The only thing that changed is now they have a diagnosis. They can choose to be worried depressed or angry about it, but even if they are does it do any good? Does it change the reality of their situation? What kind of an effect do those emotions have on the body anyway? If you ever experienced any one of these emotions you already know. When you live with those emotions in the forefront of your awareness, life isn’t going to feel so good. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with feeling anxiety, anger and depression in light of such a diagnosis, it is when these feelings become so prominent in a person’s everyday life and attention it becomes unhealthy.
So Live. Live with the knowledge that we are as humans permanently impermanent. This body mind is on loan and will at some point be turned back into its rightful owner, the Creator of all that is. Let the freedom of not knowing when your last day is, allow you more latitude in your life to live without fear anger and depression. You won’t look back on your life and say things like I wish I had started that business, or I wish I had spent less time worrying about my finances or living situation. People who have experienced near death experiences overwhelmingly report such insights to their families and friends. Use these insights for your life right now and feel the joy that comes with them.
© 2018 Michael S Morris, MA LLP