Seeing the Big Picture 2:1
…continued from Becoming Aware 1:8 – Centering
Before you can get what you want you have to know what you want. That may sound obvious, but how many times have you been hungry and not known what you wanted to eat? Sometimes, we just don’t know. It may be easy to admit it when it comes to food, but there are other hungers that we may have that we don’t have a clue how to satisfy. The first step then is to identify the hunger, for only then can we determine how to feed it.
We are inundated these days with information telling us what we are supposed to want. You can’t walk down the street without being bombarded with some message or another—on the sides of buses, on T-shirts, in store windows. Would we even know how to dress without fashion magazines, advertisements, peer pressure? I often used to find myself looking to others before I could decide what to purchase, even when it came to something as simple as the color of my lipstick. Yet over and over and over again I notice that the things I am happiest with are those I select on my own, those that are not influenced by fashion or someone else’s taste. Many of the messages are so subtle that I can’t even be sure they are my decisions, made to please only me. And if it is this confusing to know what material things we want, no wonder we have difficulty becoming aware of the intangible things we want in life.
From the time we are young, incredible pressure is put on us to conform to the norms that have been established by those before us. All my life I felt like I wasn’t doing it right, like I didn’t fit in. It was as though there was this huge game going on and I was never given a set of instructions on how to play. For many years I hunted and searched for those rules, in all the wrong places and to no avail. Today I no longer need to live by someone else’s rules. I’ve stopped looking for a rescuer. I no longer try to make myself fit into someone else’s idea of myself. I am now free to explore all the subtleties of my being. And I have come to see that when this is painful it is merely the pain that comes with being human. I’ve discovered that this pain is often the inspiration for growth.
Write down where you would like to be in a year and what you think you want in your life. Be specific and realistic. Now write down the dreams and fantasies that you have for your life. Be honest and true to yourself. Be imaginative, but don’t make things up that don’t fit just to write something down. If you have no dreams, write about that. Having no dreams and fantasies is as legitimate at this point as living in a dream world.
Now place these written testimonies in an envelope and seal it. Label it “Dreams/Desires/Fantasies” and date it. Put it on your Quiet Corner altar and forget about it for now. Then turn your attention back to the process you’ve begun here. Take the next step along the Quiet Corner path, which will guide you toward your true self. And then take the next step and the next. If you continue along the path outlined here, you might be surprised at the outcome, though it will work much better if you can forget about that for now.
Simply show up for yourself each day and participate in your life. Do what is required of you to achieve daily peace of mind. And then, little by little, gifts will begin to manifest.
If you are prepared and fully awake to them, you will see how they surpass anything you might have thought you wanted for yourself.
Stay on the path, and then open your envelope a year later. One of two things will become evident. Either you will see all your dreams, and more, realized, or you will decide that what you thought you wanted for yourself was indeed limiting, you will be grateful for how your life has taken shape, and glad that you didn’t get only what you asked for. In either case, if you are truly on your Quiet Corner path, you will see that a force is working in your life that is beyond your rational mind’s grasp. You will see that if you define what you want simply as personal spiritual progress, then you will get everything you need.
To be continued…