Recently, I have found myself thinking about illusion, longing, and contentment – and about how it is the seeking that creates the longing, which often creates a sense of disease or dissatisfaction within one’s life.
This idea was sparked by something I read from yoga teacher and meditator Darren Main on the subject of Maya – i.e. the veil that makes it appear as though everything is separate instead of a different expression of the divine (The Atman). Due to the prevalence of this veil, we begin to forget that our perceived “differences,” which at times “separate” us and make us feel alone and isolated, are only an illusion that causes a sense of personal anxiety. This anxiety results in a sense of longing – i.e. longing for a sense of wholeness, unity, completion – that the individual attempts to fulfill through the acquisition of people, titles, things, and experiences.
And…. as many of us have learned through experience, the words of author Helena Echlin happen to be quite true: “acquisition doesn’t equal happiness.”
At one point or another, we’ve all strived for that “perfect” job, partner, or thing. And found that even if we could acquire it, there is often a subtle (or not) experience of dissatisfaction.
The question I have for you, the question I am attempting to ask of myself is this: How can we trust that there is nothing to fix? How can we begin to see beyond the veil that keeps us ignorant to the fact that we are all connected and that there is no end goal? How can we begin to rewrite the narrative that tells us there is something that we can seek out that will alleviate our momentary feelings of discomfort? How can we trust that we are not somehow broken, incomplete, or unworthy because we momentarily experience doubt, fear, uncertainty, jealousy, resentment, or regret?
These are all big questions – which may take a while to answer. Accordingly, I feel the best step towards rewriting these unproductive narratives may be by simply noticing those instances where we become anxious and feel compelled to do something about it.
Maybe it is within an intimate relationship where there are parts of your own being that you hide from others through a series of never ending “improvements”? Maybe at work your focus may forever be on that next promotion, badge, or pay grade? Or maybe within your asana practice you may believe that you constantly need to tackle that next pose or up-level?
What ever it is for you, take a moment to breathe and remind yourself that: You am an expression of the divine. There is no place to get to, nothing to conquer or master that is going to make me more worthy of being loved and accepted than I am right now.