“Do what you believe in,” sounds so simple, even obvious. However, upon closer examination, we can see how rare and challenging that actually is. Deep inside your soul, there is a longing unique to your nature. It is sometimes referred to as a passion, but it is generally not experienced as a passion, at least not in the initial stages of discovering it. Initially, it is obscured with a plethora of contradictory thoughts and emotions. They include:
1) Impatience. One’s deepest longing is often experienced as an irritant, like an insatiable thirst or eternal itch that cannot be scratched, not as the joy of its true nature. It creates frustration, upset, even anger and despondence. This is certainly understandable. This deepest longing is your life’s purpose. It’s why you are here. It’s what gives your life meaning. The very idea, of not knowing what that is, feels unbearable. Understandably, people rush to quench that thirst, grabbing at something they feel will give their life meaning. Such impatience can lead people astray throughout their entire life. “Well begun is half done.” It requires a willingness to take your time to spread the cards out on the table face up, yet impatience renders that intolerable.
2) Fear. Life is riddled with indoctrination. Fear permeates global consciousness. The very idea of deviating from indoctrination sends waves of fear through the physiology. I have to make money, what if I get sick, what will happen to me in old age, I have to be practical or I might find myself homeless, if I’m not careful I’ll be cheated, it’s not safe to trust anyone. Traversing the gauntlet of such fear makes resting into your true nature and your life’s purpose most difficult. This challenge is heightened by the fact that these fears are not experienced as something outside of you. They have overtaken you to the point where you believe they are you. To abandon them feels like you are abandoning yourself. How poetic, how ironic, that the very things that keep you from knowing your true Self come to you in the guise of your true Self.
3) Peer pressure. In this sense of the word, “peer” includes family, friends, neighbors, and associates. Out of love, people sometimes compromise themselves. What you do with your life becomes more about other people’s feelings than a dedication to your own true Self. It can be very difficult to see that the best thing you can do for people that you love is to be true to your own Self.
4) Confusion. To read these words and understand them is not enough. Navigating the waters of your life can be very confusing. Are the words running through your mind your own words or have they been imposed upon you by others? How do you know? Are your reservations the voice of wisdom or the voice of fear? Again, how do you know? Is the relentless hammering by someone you love coming from the place of their wisdom or distortion? Is what they are telling you to do constructive or destructive? Will it assist you in the path to your true Self or obstruct it? How do you know?
5) Hurts. We have all been hurt. That is not the question. The question is how do you deal with that hurt? Have you allowed it to define what you believe in? Do you live your life dictated by the wounds those hurts have created? Know without question that what you really believe in comes from a place within you eternally untainted by any hurt. To find your Truth, to find your life’s mission, you must set out to find that place within yourself.
6) Ego. In the highest sense of the word, ego is a very good thing. It is your sense of self. In that regard, as you evolve, your ego expands. However, more commonly, ego is experienced as something much more superficial and insidious. It is an attempt to prop up a weak ego, a self-image that is lacking. In this sense, ego is a facade, a false self, an attempt to make you look good, not only to yourself, but also to others. At best, that sort of ego is pure denial. At its worst, it is a lie.
7) Distraction. How many times must a person be inspired to live a life true to himself? You would think that once would be quite enough. Sadly, that is not the case. It is so easy to get distracted. What do you get distracted by? Money? Childhood issues? Personal biases? This question is not answered in a word. It is an ongoing search, guided by the lamp of self-honesty. The path is highly elusive, buried beneath the quagmire of rationalization and self-justification.
8) Inner fiber. How do you measure true strength? Certainly not in the amount of muscle mass. Certainly not in the degree of stubbornness or blind conviction. Certainly not in the volume of your voice or the aggression of your tone. True strength is a measure of inner fiber that finds its root in the depth of your soul, the source of your true wisdom. Cultivating that fiber is a process. Meditation is the key element, personal process is essential, but pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps and finding the inner strength that you already have to keep you focused and dedicated to the discovery of truth is absolutely essential. Sitting back and hoping for a wave of good karma that will carry you down the glory road is the meandering life of a dreamer. You must learn to rudder your own ship through the choppy waves of impatience, fear, peer pressure, confusion, hurts, ego, distraction, inner fiber, etc. There are very few heroes in the world. These words outline the nature of a true hero.
What you believe in is not a thought; it’s a feeling. Love comes in many shades. The uniqueness of your own soul determines the majestic shade of love that is your life’s purpose. Dedication to that is not a decision you can make. It is a life that lives through you. It is sweet. It is innocent, sublime, subtle, and pristine. It is spiritual, loving, sensitive, committed, and flawless. It overtakes every breath, every movement, thought, and emotion. It is the sweetness of the early morning summer sun that shines through your windows, gently warming your home. It is the meaning of life.
© Michael Mamas, 8/09