My Life; The Never-Ending Story

Jun 14, 2023 | Virtues of the Heart

For all the rabbit holes I have been down in my life, I reflect and wonder if I wasted my time.

But, then I have to ask myself, Who am I today? Where am I today? Do I know what I am?

Would I be who I am without those journeys down these various rabbit holes? I don’t think so. They all provided me with lessons, exploration, and experience. I learned from many different teachers; some were life-changing; others did not walk their talk and fell off the pedestal I had put them on.

Some unproductive experiences stayed with me for many years, and I wandered lost and searching in the desert for too long. Much of the time, I was misguided in my search for happiness, peace, and fulfillment. I thought the world had to provide a solution or things that would fulfill me. So much of my search was outside in the form of things, position, money, relationships, and knowledge.

I never really stopped trying to understand who I was, why am I here, and what am I here for. I think this is innate in all of us, whether we know it or not. Sometimes I thought I knew the answers and felt like I had reached an understanding that would support me and give me peace.

But our quest for knowing the answers to these questions is a long journey, and it will never really end; it only gets more interesting, meaningful, and expansive, which is its own reward if we see our connection to everything.

I know that I am conscious; as I wrote about in my last blog, this is obvious and something we all have in common.

Further reflection leads me to still ask, why am I conscious? And what is the purpose of being conscious? This journey is ongoing, and new data comes in all the time; I have shifted my understanding of this question over many years.

However, there is a point where I know why I am here, who I am, and what my purpose is. I know this now, although it may change as I grow and expand.

The conscious me, the observer that lives inside the body, is me; the body is a mechanism that enables me to live a life here on Earth and in a world of duality. By its very nature, consciousness is an observer and experiencer; it is observing my body’s actions, behaviors, and life experiences. The universe, or nature, or the one consciousness, is the field of play in which my individuated consciousness can explore this reality. It does this through the body/mind mechanism.

The consciousness that is me in the background has been ignored for most of my life. My main focus was on the body and its activities, seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, and survival. This is common for all of us, I would say. I can see now that this has resulted in only being partially alive. The larger part of me, consciousness, is not included or drawn into my body experience so that it can contribute to my life experience.

Our world is dualistic, meaning everything looks like it is separated, including me from you. This is the body/mind/ego view of the world it inhabits. The consciousness that is me knows a different world, the world of interconnectedness where we are all connected to everything known and unknown.

If living in duality is being a singular human being whose prominent characteristics are fear, judgment, seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, seeing enemies, othering, blaming, never having enough, striving for recognition, and a sense of unfulfillment, then why would I want to continue that lifestyle?

I don’t. The larger self, in comparison, offers a new, more expansive way to live here on Earth. If I identify with myself as consciousness using a body here now, making both equal influences in my life, my reality will change dramatically. How do I do that?

It is not easy; if it was, many people would be living in peace and living as intelligent, interconnected beings.

It is possible though, shifting this sense of self is accomplished in one way by excepting life as it is presented to us. This is a challenge in itself, but it is the foundation upon which I can exercise free will to make a decision and manifest a richer life experience.

Allowing what is, gives me a momentary pause before judgment, fear, resentment, or any other impulse of resistance can take hold and thus set the tone of my day, week, month, or even my worldview.

This momentary pause provides an opportunity to choose to apply one or more of the six heart virtues to what is in front of me. This directly opposes being overtaken by negative emotions, behaviors, and thoughts, which keep me in a cycle of repeating the past.

When I am confronted with something I do not like, it’s uncomfortable, anger-provoking, or fear-inducing; I need to recognize this is happening and hit pause. I ask myself how I can view this situation through the lens of the heart virtues. If I can stay still for just a moment, one or more virtues will arise, and it is what is needed to apply to this very situation. Perhaps it is compassion for myself or another. Maybe it is valor to act in the face of injustice, or maybe it is understanding the deeper levels of this situation, all of which are the application of love. If I can do this, I have successfully broken the habitual reaction of seeing myself as a victim and powerless in the world I live.

By replacing my reaction with a heart-centered perspective, I have gone from a dualistic separation experience to an interconnected experience with all. By applying the heart virtues, I have connected with the world around me as a participant, co-creator, and conduit of love with universal intelligence.

This intelligence becomes an equal participant in reshaping my reality with my body/mind. It is like being reunited with a long-lost friend that I loved, and I never want to live another second without it.

Therein lies my identity, purpose, fulfillment, creativity, and the flow of love.

The flowering of being.

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