As much as this might be scary, the truth is - the more we can embrace the complexity of life, the more fulfilled we’re going to be.
The more we can embrace that life will ALWAYS be changing, shifting, bringing up new things - that there’s no ‘after’ state we arrive at, but a perpetual adventure in the variation of being alive, the more we’re going to feel COMFORTABLE in the reality of this human experience.
Reality Is Complex - But Spirituality Wants To Sell You On It's Simplicity:
So much of the new age/spirituality/self help world teachings center around trying to over SIMPLIFY life.
Selling you the ONE THING you need to create ALL happiness.
Telling you that happiness is found when you can learn to ‘go with the flow/be in the now moment.’ That if you can achieve this perfect presence, freedom from all thought of past or future, freedom from identifying with anything other than the right now/anything at all, so that you’re in perfect acceptance in all moments, from that moment forward you will never have pain or guilt or shame or struggle ever again.
Then others tell you that fulfillment comes from making plans, setting goals and willfully and mindfully creating your future. They say once we really own our power, we will see that we have this yet untapped capacity to shape our experience. That when we get it right, we will only ever exist in a high vibrational state, gliding gracefully from aligned action to aligned manifestation. That any ‘bumps’ in the road are simply challenges to be positive about and overcome. We’re here to work, plan and achieve. That happens through positivity and planning. Goals. Pushing our limits while also looking for the flow and path of least resistance.
Some say the key to freedom is learning how to process and be with your negative emotions/shadow side. That the answer to any and all pain is to dive into our subconscious/programming, to constantly be on the lookout for projection and past trauma so that we can feel it to heal it. We’re never, ever to deny an emotion, push a thought away or shift our focus from the pain we may be in, so that we can fully EMBODY it. Embodiment is KEY. We must learn to FEEL. All of it. We’re meant to be in the body - as the body is LIBERATION. The more we process, the more we feel, the more we will clear ourselves - eventually leading to a state of consciousness where we’re so aware, awake and wise that we never ache again. Being in the body will be blissful and all karma cleared.
Others say the key to happiness lies in always focusing on the positive, manifesting your ideal life, being in a constant state of ‘high vibes.’ To never let your mind slip into what ifs, scary stories or to wallow in your negative emotions. They tell us that the key to a good life is a good mindset. The body, emotions, sensations - these are all fantasies, stories, unimportant at best. They are not who YOU are - they are just temporary costumes and experiences to be risen above/overpowered/overcome. That we must always be on top of our thoughts, focusing on what we WANT, seeing the blessing in everything, empowering ourselves through seeing only the bright side. We’re told that low vibrational emotions like anger, fear and sadness are the CAUSE of our misery, that they are choices, and we can simply choose to stop feeling those things. We should be in a perpetual state of forgiveness. Never holding onto any negativity. That only drags us down.
Bottom line here, we’re told that there’s ONE solution to all of our pain - an inner flip of a switch, an inner game, and inner SOMETHING that, when taken on and mastered, will lead to ALL of our problems being solved. This ONE tool - positivity/shadow work/present moment/planning - will be the ticket to the life of freedom we all so deeply desire. Each teacher/teaching proclaims that their THING is the THING. You should need nothing else, and they are most likely one of the ONLY people on the planet who really understands this one thing, so you really NEED them for your freedom.
On the ‘flip side’ of all of the above flip sides - we have the teachers that teach the ‘outer game’ mentality.
We’re told if we just find the perfect career/purpose we will feel like our lives have meaning. That our lack of meaning in life comes from not knowing what our special gift is, what our special offering is, what our special blueprint design is, and from not walking that out. We’re sold that if we just figure out what our perfect profession is, we will all of a sudden feel all this power in our lives, we will come into abundance, we will have the freedom we’ve always longed for. The Universe will reward us with sovereignty and peace and love and our tribe and all of this - because we are living and working our purpose. The key to happiness is finding your niche and working in that. We type ourselves, categorize ourselves, analyze the shit out of ourselves, our charts, our bodies and so on, trying to boil down WHO and WHAT we are so we can figure out how to WORK that into something monetizable, shareable and impactful. We strive to have this self awareness so we can funnel it into a PURPOSE, putting ourselves, hopefully, in this ideal state for our blueprint.
Others tell us that if we find the right relationship we will feel totally connected and will then have all we need to fully actualize ourselves and our potential. That it’s through this divine union or through finding our soul family that we come into perfect happiness. That we will finally have that meaningful connection that makes life worth living. We will then use this conscious relationship/relationships to awaken to all other aspects of life. All other aspects of self and reality. We will have this base of perfect relation that will bring up all our trauma to be healed and will be the container that facilitates all growth. That together we will be greater than the sum of our parts.
We’re promised that if we finally HEAL our bodies, when we reach a perfectly clean, purified, strong, vital or ultimately healthy state in our physical selves, that in THIS we will reach Nirvana. All our past pains, struggles and suffering will be wiped clean. We will cleanse our way to enlightenment. We will heal our bodies into a state of perfect balance and bliss. Spiritual practice is nothing if the body is ill/weak/dirty. We will eat our way strong, clear, purpose filled. We’re told that if we just fast, cleanse, build, nourish and purify enough, we will transcend the dirty human experience and live as our Divine selves.
Again here, we’re promised that with the fix of/manifestation of/creation of the ideal conditions in one area of our lives, the entirety of the rest of our experience will come together and we will live happily ever after in our healed state - never to suffer how we did before.
They Sell Us A Dream That LOOKS Like It Should Be Possible:
We’re bombarded with before and after photos.
Marketing copy that promises the activation of this or that, the awakening of this energy, the purifying of this impurity, the enlightening of this or that aspect of self, the unlocking of trauma, the healing, the integration, the magical process - and in this moment of transformation we will be catapulted to the mythical ‘other side’ where we no longer struggle.
We’re offered self help/self improvement courses, books, seminars and workshops all promising to give us the KEYS to the freedom we’re looking for.
Coaching programs are marketed to us as being the support we need to finally ‘get on track’ so we can master our lives.
Diet protocols dressed up as spiritual quests.
Meditation and plant medicine ceremonies that deliver us.
Step by step guides that show us exactly how to build the ‘insert dream here’. It’s never ending.
And while they sell us THE ANSWER - they also sell us on never ending answers. They tell us that they have THE THING that will solve all of our problems, and if we do it right, this will be all we ever need. And for most of us, we get on board, we try, we get some form of result which convinces us that the thing works, but it never delivers fully on the promise of full transcendence.
Rather, it makes us feel a little better for a little while (because newbie gains, the fact that it’s novel, the fact that we have SO much faith or the fact that it is a PART of a STEP of a solution) - and this is enough to convince us that we’re on the right path.
So when the ULTIMATE freedom doesn’t happen - we don’t assume that the program/offering/ceremony didn’t work. Rather, we’re fed that WE didn’t do it right.
We failed the program.
So try again.
Get back on board.
Sign up for the next seminar or coaching module or diet.
We’re told that we just need to take the NEXT STEP.
Because of COURSE. We gotta take it deeper.
Take the more advanced training.
The more intense inner circle program.
We need to upgrade.
Keep on pushing for the next rung on the transcendence ladder.
More is never enough.
Enough is never enough.
A step is never a step.
It’s just an impediment to that ultimate fulfillment destination we MUST reach.
We’re being sold the ANSWER while also being hooked into being forever consumers.
This is IT we’re told - AND - we must commit forever or to forever taking the NEXT LEVEL.
We are groomed to be perfectly obedient forever buyers.
This one answer that keeps on asking you for more and more of your time, money, dedication and attention.
Never, ever, ever enough. And it’s not that the program isn’t what it says it is. It’s that you aren’t trying hard enough/haven’t done enough yet.
It’s all the same shit, different day.
All with the same message - do this one thing, and you will be healed and transformed forever.
It's Not Enough Mentality, Dressed Up As Growth - It's A Cycle That Never Ends:
This, my friends, is why so many of us are forever seekers, never finders.
Because life does not, in fact, ever work in absolutes like this.
Life is not this simple.
Never has been, never will be.
And the more we try to MAKE it this simple, the more we create turmoil in our experience.
Life is not a before and after.
There’s no one area of life, no inner or outer game THING that will be EVERYTHING.
ALL of the above tools, techniques, teachings and practices have their PLACE in this human life. Nothing being sold above is ‘wrong’ or bad. None of it is everything or THE answer.
It all has its place.
There are going to be times when we really need to be in the moment. Where learning to be here IS the next best thing we can do. Other times, it will be pertinent that we goal set, plan, work towards an end. BOTH of these paradigms will ALWAYS be a part of the fulfilled human life.
There will be times when we need to feel. Dive into shadow. Go into those dark places. Where we need to process and be with. Other times, the next step on the path of healing is a positive focus. Being willing to see something beyond our pain. To appreciate what IS good and what IS working. To let our minds settle on the ever present GOOD that does exist even within the hard stuff. In order to find balance, we need to be able to balance between these two states depending on where WE are at any given time.
There will be times when focusing on a career is really important. Other times family and relationships will be a bigger focus. Sometimes our physical bodies will be what we need to drive our awareness into. There will be times when our education matters most. Caring for children or other loved ones.
This life isn’t a destination.
It’s seasons. It’s phases. It’s complexity and nuance.
There’s no transcendence here.
There’s process. Journey. Steps and evolution.
People who find the most satisfaction in this life are the ones who let themselves be in whatever phase they’re in, without making it everything. The ones who allow themselves to learn the tool that’s being presented to them, and then who take that tool FORWARD with them as they collect their next tool.
Learning to do shadow work, then taking that skill with you as you learn positive focus. Working to unite these two tools into something greater than the sum of their parts.
Learning how to access the power of presence and the power of processing the past and visioning the future. Again, working these tools together.
Building a career that matters within the CONTEXT of a healthy relationship, a healthy body.
Having profound spiritual experiences every once in a while knowing that the revelations, the wisdom, the keys are just next steps. Nothing will be ultimate freedom. Nothing will be all we ever need. We will get what serves us in this moment, what we need for our next steps, we will take those next steps, and then we will receive again what’s needed for that phase.
We may be able to look back in 10 or 15 years - and there will be an appearance of total transcendence or transformation - but we will know the truth. We are the boat that left the harbor, and on the way to the new land due to the needs at the time, replaced each part of ourselves with an upgrade. We look like a whole new boat by the time we reach that destination point, but really, we just evolved with each upgrade along the way. And that place we doc? Just a pit stop. There will always be new lands to sail to. New improvements to be made to the vessel. Accidents. Changes. Weather patterns that call for new sailing paths and techniques. We are still us, we are not a new boat - we are a stronger, more aware, more capable version of the boat that set sail initially.
When we can settle into the idea that life will never be done, that transformation is in the daily practices of just showing up for what IS in this moment and working with that, that satisfaction comes not in the pursuit of the finish line, but rather in the pursuit of the GROWTH that’s possible in each MOMENT - in THIS we will be perpetual FINDERS rather than perpetual SEEKERS.
We will finally free ourselves of the never ending not enough treadmill and will step into a whole new paradigm where each moment is enough, each experience brings its own satisfaction as it ADDS to us. AND we know that in the next moment we will be onto something new. Where each experience is an enlightenment, which leads to the next enlightenment, to the next and to the next.
Where we can embrace seasons of sadness, doubt and loss just as much as the seasons of growth, possibility, healing and newness. Where we can ride the ups and downs - expanding from and with all of it.
THIS is a life of satisfaction.
THIS is enough. And the next moment may be the same, or totally different, and it too will be enough. Then the next will be new, and that will be new enough.
All emotions will be present. And we will learn to love them all.
THIS is transcendence by my estimation.
Embracing it all. All the seasons. All the phases. All the growth.
It all has its place.
Be a perpetual finder.
It’s way more fun than perpetually seeking an answer that can never exist.