Standing in the mile long line at the airport today, I ended up behind a small baby that was attached to her mother’s chest. All around us was chaos, the dizzying movement of thousands of people in one place. The disorienting push and pull of panic when that many people realize they might not make it to their flights on time for departure. So many voices competing for reception. But ahead of me, this baby had tipped her head completely backwards so her mother could look deeply into her eyes. The mother stroked her cheeks and the curls of her hair as the two of them remained transfixed with one another. It was like a tiny world of silence within a world of noise. I found myself sucked into the gravity of the silent world between them. I felt like a trespasser whose presence was not minded.
It is so easy to love a baby. A baby does not pose any threat. “Let that there be a lesson”. "It is easy to love when there is no risk involved". But it is not especially brave of us. It requires almost no vulnerability to love a child. But for the child on the other hand, it requires great vulnerability. Vulnerability is a form of courage that comes natural to a child, before the years have hardened and shaped their sense of self into a shell that separates them from the world.
What is the difference between this baby and that adult over there? Fear was the answer. The fear of the potential of emotional pain that might be caused by 'that adult over there'. We are not afraid of potentially being caused emotional pain by the baby. Fear is the opposite vibration of love.
In that moment, before going through airport security, I remembered my love of people. I remembered a moment when I was stopped at a traffic light, watching a man dig through the garbage can for lunch. In that moment, it was not pity for him that drove me forward. It was a vision of a world where people were loved enough that fear did not cause the ego to divide us from ourselves.
It is easy to chase this vision of the world. It is easy to chase heaven on earth. But heaven is something that can never exist. It can never exist because heaven is always about the future. And the future does not exist. This does not have to depress you. Instead, it can cause you to see that to manifest this vision of the world, you simply have to stop making it about something that will happen one day. Instead, you simply have to choose to start willingly and decidedly loving in the present. This state is the real ‘heaven on earth’.
I am a wildcard in the spiritual business. I make certain people in this business nervous because I do not come in a package that makes people comfortable. I do not commit myself to saying only what people want to hear. I do not say politically correct things for the sake of good PR. I say what everyone else is content to think only to themselves. Some people in this business, who do not see the value or wisdom in this approach, avoid booking me, promoting me or associating with me because they fear potential condemnation by association.
What I wish people in the 'business of spirituality' understood about me is that I do not enjoy being 'subversive'. In fact, I see no value in rebellion. It is resistant in nature. A person who cares a great deal about their career because their career enhances their identity is easily controllable. Their motive will always be to be liked and approved of, so they can keep their reputation and thus keep making money. This person can be talked or threatened or tempted into packaging themselves in a way that makes people comfortable. This person can commit himself or herself to saying only what people want to hear… saying politically correct things for the sake of good PR. This person will be content to think things only to themselves. Selfishly, I wish everyone in this world understood this “mission” I am on in the same way that the ‘tribe’ does.
The bottom line is, I care about my career because my career is a means of bringing forth this state of being in the world where we experience love enough that fear does not cause the ego to divide us from ourselves and each other. My career is a means of alleviating suffering.
The problem with caring more about the alleviation of suffering than with my identity relative to this career, is that if I have to choose between the two, I will choose the alleviation of suffering. Here is just one example of how this choice presents some problems for me: I do not believe in making any subject taboo. To honor taboo is to cause more suffering in those who are grappling with the taboo subject. It is to reinforce a split in the collective conscious. My unwillingness to honor the taboo is one thing that has made me controversial. You could argue that this is an unwise career decision because of the antagonism it creates and because of what it could potentially cost me; but it is perfectly in alignment with my actual goal .
At the ‘Hay House I Can Do It’ event this weekend, a woman asked me “How Do I Stop Questioning Myself?” I loved this question because it was an opening for the progression of thought. The reality is that we should never stop questioning ourselves. In fact, it is the questioning that allows us to stay in alignment with our own authentic self and divine purpose, regardless of what we come up against or who disagrees with us. Any time we encounter resistance to the expression of our authentic self, it is an opportunity to question and recalibrate so as to better align with genuine authenticity. This is distinctly different than self doubt.
We will find ourselves at this crossroads again and again. Do we commit to a façade, or do we find out who we really are and admit to it? For the sake of self-discovery, I challenge you to pretend that you have just come out of a coma and that now you know nothing about yourself. Act as if it is the first day of your life in this body. You do not know what you like and don’t like. You do not know what you believe and don’t believe. You do not know how you feel. Now, reassess your life. When you take a bite of that food, do you like that food? What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it? When you pick out your clothes, how do they make you feel? If this was your first day on earth and you had no pre-conceived notion about other people’s perspective about those clothes, what would you think of those clothes? Do they reflect who you really are? When you spend time with that person, do you like them? It doesn’t matter if they are family and you have always thought that ‘family is forever’. Why do you like them? Why don’t you like them? When you look at yourself in the mirror, who are you really? Are you an artist? It doesn’t matter if you’ve never painted a picture or danced a dance in your life... Are you an artist? Are you a mother? Doesn’t matter if you are actually a mother or if you have no children at all... Are you a mother? What do you believe about this universe or God? Throw away your religion and your beliefs for a minute. It doesn’t matter if you have said “I’m a Christian, or “I’m Islamic” all your life... What do you believe about this universe or God? It is ok if the answers to these questions are “I don’t know”. Because at least “I don’t know” is better than pretending that you do know. It means you have a kind of openness to know the truth about yourself.
As of today, your job is to explore. Your job is to re-assess the old things and most especially, to try new things. Listen to the way you feel when you think things and say things and do things. You may think you have liked something all your life, only to discover that you don’t really like that thing at all. You may have thought that you believed something all your life, only to discover that you don’t really believe that thing at all. You may have thought you hated something all your life, only to discover that you actually love it. You were just so afraid of the consequence of admitting to how you felt and what you liked and what you believed and who you were, that you have misled yourself. You have built a false self and most likely you maintained that false self with extreme conviction. You tried to convince yourself and other people around you that you were one way, when you were another.
We need to be willing to question absolutely everything we think we know about ourselves in order to really know ourselves. And it will feel groundless and anchor-less in the beginning. It will feel like you are losing your life vest. But this time spent in the unsteady, unknown of the ocean of our lives is worth the experience of landing squarely in and of our true selves. No more torture of pretending. No more trying to be perfect. No more being loved for someone that we aren’t. No more emptiness, no more meaninglessness. It doesn’t matter whether you are 10 years old or 20 years old or 40 years old or 80 years old. Now is the time to be brave. Now is the time to be brave enough to admit to the possibility that you have no idea who you really are. Now is the time to question everything you think you are. Now is the time to let the person you think you are, go. Now is the time to reveal to yourself and to the world, who you really are.