This morning on Facebook I saw several posts that talked about how, in order to live our truest lives, we need to walk through our pain, face our demons, or work through past traumas. I acknowledge and honor the courage and vision behind that point of view, and for most of my life I have thought the same way.
Today, though, I understand that that point of view leads us away from wholeness rather than toward it.
We suffer because we think we can be hurt by something outside
In our humanness we inevitably experience suffering, not because it is necessary to our growth, but because from time to time we fall into the illusion that something outside of ourselves can harm us. We forget that our wellbeing is determined from the inside out, not the outside in.
When we respond to suffering by working on ourselves, we lock in the story that we are trying to get out of. We ratify our scary thinking by treating it as something real, something we need to deal with.
But being true to yourself does not produce pain. Forgetting your true nature produces pain. Being true to an image of yourself that appears to be threatened produces pain.
There’s a difference between being true to your self and being true to your Self
It may be more accurate to say that being true to yourself is different from being true to your Self, the Self that emanates from, expresses, and returns to a greater wholeness. It’s okay, even inevitable, that from time to time you become identified with that smaller self and buy into thinking that you must therefore suffer the slings and arrows of an outrageous fortune. That’s just part of being human.
But the truth is that who you really are, your essential Self, is always whole. The sun doesn’t go away just because its a cloudy day.
Cloudy days will happen
Cloudy days will happen. As human beings we sometimes project and become attached to our self-images, and that invariably produces times of suffering. But our suffering is the suffering of an innocent child frightened by monsters under the bed. As soon as we see through the dream of monsters, we are once again happy and free.
You don’t have to work on yourself to get rid of the monster under your bed
You don’t have to work on yourself to get rid of the monster under your bed. You simply need to wake up to the fact that the monster is a product of your thinking in the moment. And when you see that your thinking produced the monster, you don’t need to process your feelings about it or gather the courage to face it.
The origins of Shaboom and an invitation to apply for individual coaching
The name of my company, Shaboom, is taken from a tune written and recorded by The Chords in 1954. The refrain, “Life could be a dream” captures the promise and impermanence of dreams. It calls us to be bold, visionary, and creative. It honors intuition and alternate ways of knowing. And it reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously.
It’s exactly what I want for myself and for my clients. To learn more and schedule an exploratory phone or Skype call, please click here.
Photo Credit: Dan Machold via Flickr