And what the hell are we doing here anyway?
Who Am I?
Is the ultimate existential question. It’s the bedrock of self-inquiry and spiritual practice that launched my journey. It’s the question that confounds the mind and which only the heart can answer.
“We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” – Anaïs Nin.
This applies to people as much as experiences, situations, and emotions. Reality – and our perception of it – is a constantly moving target. Who you are – or think you are – determines your experience of life in every moment.
We all universally strive for an improved experience of life. More happiness, money and resources. Greater fulfillment. Better, loving, healthy relationships. Easier times. Joy. Maslow confirmed it – we’re wired for it. And yet we struggle. We feel at arm’s length from it, or victimized, or that these are indeed achievable, yet fleeting. If we’re innately wired to desire such wonderful things, why are they so hard to attain and sustain?
It’s not politics. It’s not the economy. It’s not our educational or societal or hierarchical systems and institutions. It’s not religion. Those are all just frameworks for lulling us into sleep. Into victimhood vs. ownership. Different narratives to seduce us into living from fear vs. love. To identifying with ego vs. essence.
Why then? I think it’s simple. Either we uphold a profound misunderstanding of what it truly means to be human, or we’re wildly out of alignment with our essential nature. Probably both.
It’s been said “why’s aren’t wise” but I decided to inquire anyway. Which brings me to the point of this blog.
We Have an Opportunity
We can’t understand anything, or anyone until we attempt to understand ourselves. Our conditioning. Our patterning. The 80% of us that is subconscious and (usually) driving the bus. We must come to know the identity referred to as “ego” as well as the essence described as “divine”, and the difference between the two. Plus how they are intertwined into the totality of “human”.
The big questions are worth asking. Every day in meditation apps, discussion groups, meetups, yoga classes, social media, and countless other venues millions are inquiring, sharing, and supporting one another in the quest for self-knowledge and betterment. We are “waking up” and have an opportunity to spread awakening. But it ain’t easy.
Evolution – that unstoppable change agent – rarely is. Despite knowing that change is constant, that motion (if not chaos) is the natural order of our universe, we fight for and dream of control. We get comfortable and want to stay that way. As if we had a choice or a chance.
Peel the onion and I promise you this: every single behavior, attachment, relationship and idea not serving your highest good will be brought to the surface to be dealt with. Every . . . single . . . one.
That’s not the only reason awakening is hard. Despite our best intentions and moments (fleeting but still we get there) of essence connection, we come back to identifying as beings in human bodies, with incredible limitations and physical needs. You can bliss out all you want, but you still must eventually eat and shit.
Inquiry runs up against physical reality and we’re caught up short. How do we awaken to an infinite self within a finite human existence? How do we survive at all without myriad coping mechanisms to get us through trauma, dysfunction, pain, abuse, and all manner of human suffering created and passed down for eons? Why is suffering part of the journey at all?
One of the only explanations that makes sense to me is from Sarah Blondin’s “Our Soul’s Expansion” on Insight Timer:
“Your soul, your being, the consciousness living behind your skin, came here to expand beyond its limits. It came here to this Earth to have all of the experiences it requires to stretch the borders of its existence and land deeper in the seat of its highest self. It came here to live through all it needs in order to grow more full in light, to transcend its limitations, restrictive habits, and patterns it struggles with. It came to form in your body with the intention to sift through its blockages and uncover more of its radiance and truth. Everything you must endure in this life is serving as your vehicle, your mainline to an expanded version of self . . . If we can learn to look at every exchange in this life as our way to overcome, learn and expand as a soul, it becomes much easier to accept and live alongside what we must go through.”
I never intended to but stumbled into spirituality and have been walking the path of my soul’s expansion for nearly two decades, still unraveling my “restrictive habits and patterns” and exploring what I, apparently, came here to do.
There have been leveling wake-up calls. There have been cloud-parting moments of truth. There has most certainly been immense discomfort (just wait ‘til you meet your shadow), but also intense grace. Still, I forge ahead because I believe there is more to the story of humanity than meets the eye. Maybe Earth is a school planet, or a hospital planet, or a purgatory, but whatever you believe there’s no denying a bigger picture is emerging:
For the first time in human history we are both globally connected and globally interdependent – economically, technologically and energetically. All really is one.
We know that by finding purpose and connection on our journeys we have better journeys. By understanding our nature and the elements that drive and shape us we can avoid or at least minimize excessive harm. By sharing the reality of our whole selves, especially the shadowy, destructive shameful parts, we integrate, heal and transform them.
I remain more a student of “how” than why. Of course I’d like to know the master plan, but I’m not convinced it’s knowable from where we sit. What I do know is I exist on a human journey, and I’m more interested in becoming a master navigator than origin-story decoder. I want the best journey I can have while I’m on it. I want to be a conscious creator vs. a powerless victim. I want to be the author of my own story vs. have it written for me. Most of all, I want to share what’s worked for me with others seeking the same.
So I humbly attempt to teach what I am still learning, unraveling, and exploring for myself.
Who Am I?
I’m the Accidental Seeker. Welcome.