Life is constantly giving us clues to the truth of our purpose. The trouble is, interpreting these clues can be hard, especially if these clues lead us away from our natural inclinations of what we’d prefer. Traditionally, we’ve been told to stick with something, even if it goes against the voice inside of us that whispers there is another path for us, a greater, more rewarding path, if only we are willing and courageous enough to take it. We often brush these thoughts off, because the risk of taking the leap onto a new path is too terrifying. There is just no guarantee.
It can be hard to hear the inner voice. The TV is too loud, work too distracting, the alcohol too numbing. To hear our inner voice might mean to hear things that go against everything we’d like to be true. We build our lives in the image of what we’ve been told it should look like, so when we’re following the directions and everything looks as it should, we might assume this is how it’s meant to be. We learn what is the norm, the necessity of making sacrifices and, in one way or another, we settle into our comforts. Our deepest desires might be disregarded, because there is not enough time, or money, or we’re being unrealistic. Maybe we’ve determined we’re not smart enough, not experienced enough or not healthy enough to pursue our dreams. We have bills to pay and lifestyles to keep up with. The list of why’s can be quite extensive.
The voice of inner knowing is always there though, whispering to us the life we’d like to be living, if we could. Much of the time we ignore it, pretending it’s not there. We call it fear because it leaves a pit of dread in our stomach and therefore it must be bad, if it makes us feel this way. It must be negative or untrustworthy if it keeps us up at night, or causes feelings of depression, or causes anxiety. We learn to cope, we pray it goes away or we wave it away like an annoying fly.
The moment of change comes when we no longer turn away from the thought or idea. We find enough courage to be open to what we see and really work to understand it. It means being in a state of total acceptance in order to see yourself as you really are, to see others as they really are, to see situations as they really are. When we do this, much of the time we will discover some, if not all aspects are not as they seem. The mind paints pictures based on interactions, protecting self, protecting others, protecting status, protecting ego, and ultimately projecting what it wants to believe to keep that ego self safe.
When we open up to the truth of our being, what is revealed and our steps towards true happiness might seem rather burdensome. It might mean BIG moves. It might mean BIG transition. It might mean BIG turnover. It might also mean BIG unknowns.
Stepping into the unknown can be terrifying. Our foundation crumbles, and the next step may not be what we anticipated. We’ve taken the leap off the cliff, but we haven’t seen where we’re going to land, and it sure as heck doesn’t feel like we’re flying. We push outward and inward, manic, grasping for any and all sources of solidity that might be found near by. The free fall toward new life might seem to go on forever and we might cry out desperately for the life we once had. Layers of our self begin to peel away from the force of it all, and we might think this is death.
And it is. A death of self. A death of what you once knew. A death of who you thought you were.
When I was little, I sometimes felt like my body wasn’t big enough to fit my soul, like my soul needed to get out and it made me feel suffocated and claustrophobic in my own skin. With this in mind, the “I” we find to be the self we identify with may indeed be too small at times to fit our soul, as if the ego forms itself into a thick wall, keeping our light dim, our impact on the outside world minimal.
When we make time to listen to the inner voice, when it asks us to make a change, asks us to follow our heart and we we say yes to that light, we say no to the ego. The ego puffs and pouts and cries out in anguish, “How dare you, life! You’re ruining everything!” But the inner light smiles, because what is behind us can barely compare to the magnificence of what is in store for us. In defeat, and understanding, who we thought we were begins to dissolve. Our boundaries become lighter and more expanded. It is here where we are transformed.