We are programmed to think that when something goes wrong, it's because we lack something: We assume the problem is that we don't have enough money, time, energy, happiness etc... But the more conscious I become, the more I'm noticing how many problems disappear when instead of trying to get more, I release that which no longer serves me. Instead of hunting for more energy, I can create more space in my life. For example, the problem of "not having enough time" simply fades away by giving up those activities which are not really important to me. By not wasting or leaking energy (by worrying and stressing, for instance), more energy is available for enjoying life. The saying "less is more" might not be true in every circumstance, but in general, I would say that quality is more important than quantity: The quality of time spent is more important than the amount spent; the quality of relationships certainly is more important than the quantity... Conscious living thus requires us to be honest with ourselves about what we really want, and bravery to follow that honesty.
Yesterday when I felt all wrapped up in gravity and tangled in the web of mass consciousness, I did one of the very few things that lift me back into clarity every single time: I surrendered and released my human will. I let go of external doing, of my desires, my future plans, of every single idea about who I am or who I should become, I let go of the worries and the fears, I let go of my passions, I let go of resisting my passions, I let go of resisting, supressing or fighting anything. I let go of my life purpose. I let go of all the meanings, until it didn't matter anymore.
Oh, I still felt all the emotions and thoughts sweeping through my body of consciousness, but instead of trying to organize them into any sort of order, I let them loose. I let them roam freely like wild horses. I let the storms of all my selves rage and whisper and swoosh around and within me, until one by one, their weight lifted up like hot air balloons released into the skies.
All the while, I sat still, very very still, and listened to my own breath. I sat for hours and relaxed into my beingness, into the company of my Self. I relaxed into pure presence. The more I relaxed, the more the limitations that had contained me so nicely faded into nothingness. Outlines erased, softly. Hard edges merged with the sweet depths of soul. I let myself fall into nothingness, with reckless abandon and total trust. Only a heartbeat remained, filling the stillness with vibrating life. And then I felt it: pure, unfiltered soul-love. I felt my love. A love that sprang from within me and spread into the farthest corners of my being. A love birthed from me and gifted to me. It felt like the most natural and real thing in the world. It was there without a cause, without a reason - it was there simply to exist.
My human self, now finding her voice again, asked: So this is it? I feel clear now, but I don't feel any purpose. Is this how it's going to be from now on? To this the voice within answered, 'of course there is purpose; the purpose is to love yourself and enjoy life'.
Oh please, I've heard this New Age cliché too many times, the human said.
'Yes, but did you get it? You are not here to learn how to enjoy life or to succeed at self-loving. You are here to receive the joys of life, and to feel the love of self that's already within you. You have tried so hard, but loving yourself has nothing to do with effort, or getting it right, or comparing your self-love with the self-love of others. The only way of loving self is allowing the love of self to be here.'
Somehow, even the practice of self-love had turned into an identity. Somewhere along the path, needing to love myself had become a chore on my to-do list: Go to uni, do yoga, love yourself... No more! I don't need to love myself; I have the freedom to love myself. I have the freedom to make choices that support me and that expand my joy of life. If that's not freedom, I don't know what is.
If and when I do self-loving acts, I don't do them because self-love is cool in the spiritual communities that I interact with. I'm not going to do it because it's healthy, either. I'm going to be healthier because I love myself, not the other way around. Maybe loving myself will make me less cool but give me a better sense of humour. Maybe people will envy me or roll their eyes at me. Maybe I will get ill, heart-broken, or disappointed by life despite loving myself (!), and that's okay, too. My self-love can co-exist with my imperfect human, in every molecule of my constantly changing form.
And when the noise starts ringing in my ears, and the waves of emotions rise high, I let the horses run wild and the storms rage proud, and I remember that every breath of my human life is a gift from my soul to me.
Life is my freedom, not a duty.