We all have times when we feel lost, disconnected from ourselves and others. There are many roads that lead us back to peace–here are a few of my favorites.
1. Move. Fear, pain and anger get stuck in our bodies. Dance, walk, hula hoop, swim, practice yoga. Let your feelings move through you, then set them free.
2. Sing. Or laugh. Or cry. Or write. Let yourself express what you are feeling. You must name it before you are free of it. When times are hardest, rely on your favorite sources of inspiration–whatever art or music moves you. When in doubt, try Frank Sinatra.
3. Meditate. I once spent several hours letting my mind wrestle with a problem, taking me far from my center, far from a sense of ease. When I finally sat down, got still, got clear, the problem released me and I saw a solution. As I came out of meditation, I heard my inner voice say quite clearly: “Next time, meditate first.”
4. Find Beauty. Anywhere you can. It’s there, waiting for you to notice, here and now, wherever you may be. Look for it. Appreciate it. Savour it. Let yourself open to whatever love you find.
5. Scatter Light. Remember, it’s never just about you. If you would be happy, help someone else smile. If you would be healed, ease someone else’s pain. Get out of your own way, and allow yourself to spread light and love to those around you.
We are divine. We are spiritual beings. We are powerful. But we are not mind-readers. That is why we must ask for what we want.
No matter how much someone loves you, how long they’ve known you, or how deeply they care, they cannot read your mind. We often fall into the trap of expecting others to figure out what we want. We say things like “if you really knew me” or “if you really loved me” you would know what it is I want. We make it a test of love, a test of faith. And yet–don’t we usually demand that others figure out what we want because we ourselves aren’t sure? Or, worse yet, because we are afraid to speak up and be honest about our true desires?
Instead of taking the time to ask ourselves what it is we really desire, we focus on all the things we don’t want, and blame others for not solving our problems. But who could? Who could ever know what it is we truly desire better than we do? No one sees the world quite the same way you do. No one else has your unique heart, mind and soul. No one is better equipped than you to determine what you want out of life.
Don’t expect others to be mind-readers; don’t pretend you are one. Take the time to investigate your true and deep desires, and then ask for what you want.
And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.
Late Fragment, by Raymond Carver
The whole world conspires to teach you only this: that you are Spirit, beloved of Spirit. All your journeys lead to truth; all your wanderings bring you home. All we seek is to come closer and closer to that realization, to know ourselves and the Beloved more deeply, more fully.
You need not reach for love–you are the body and soul of love itself. Would you look for music? Would you listen for sunlight?
Follow love. Do neither too much nor too little. There is only one thing we must practice: how to love more deeply, more openly, more completely. More fearlessly. Those who look with eyes of love see more deeply and more truly.
The world loves you as much as you love it; perhaps even more so. So let yourself love. Let the world in, and yourself out.