I am going through a profound transformation. It is a journey I had no awareness I was embarking on but, in hindsight, now seemed necessary for me to evolve and grow. We are all so conditioned and habitual in our daily routine that we rarely question our existence and pause to seriously ponder if we are living the life intended for us. We just continue to go through the motions, day after day, week after week, month after month. Until one day you look in the mirror and realize the years have fallen like dominoes and you have grown old yet unfulfilled. You wonder how you arrived here in this moment of reflection. Was there purpose and meaning in your years? Yes, perhaps. Were there moments of success, triumph and glory?; Flashes of love and connection?; Glimpses of hope, light and happiness? Perhaps, but deep in the essence of your core, you felt empty all along the ride and now can hardly recognize the face in the mirror.
My personal story began when a mystery arm pain derailed me off the tracks nearly six years ago. I was blindsided by the enormous impact it would have on the totality of my life. My existence to that point was satisfactory, but not great. Can one be content without really scratching the surface of happiness? Again, perhaps. By treading in the narrow channel of safety and social acceptance, we can get by and consider simply being content a worthy enough goal. After all, there is so much suffering in the world, how can one earnestly complain when we have all the essential needs to survive? But our soul wants more, it screams for purpose and meaning, to discover our inner truth that is so pure. The vast majority of us never realize this higher calling yet live a good – but disconnected to our own essence – existence.
I was on that path and far too weak to deviate off of it. In fact, I know I never would have had the courage to proactively make the change(s) and needed a catalyst. My life resume looked impeccable on paper – career, house, car, girls – but deep down I was hollow and empty. The social norms, the external expectations, the pressure to perform and function at a high level are key drivers to so many of us and I was caught in this trap of living my life to impress others. Summarily, it was success defined by society but fully disconnected in providing me inner peace and happiness.
What would you do or change in your life if you did not care at all what others would think about you – something your heart & soul screams out for but fear and social acceptance stops you? It is a deeply profound question many of us never ask or take action on until too late in life because we are so often guided by fear and risk mitigation. We learn through experiences, as we mature and grow as individuals, and this accumulation shapes our needs, wants and desires into habitual patterns. But this learning process is neither a linear or defined path and we typically only choose to dwell deeper inside of us when adversity strikes with our backs against the wall rather than when times are good. Ask any brilliant artist when their catalyst for creativity occurs and it is when mired in anguish, confusion and struggle. This may be because it cuts right to the core, screaming to be channeled and freed without all the conditioned judgment and fear that ultimately engulfs and drowns us into the safety zone. It is a beautiful and glorious sensation, albeit often a painful catharsis, to break free and tap into one’s pure individualism.
But we should ask this question of ourselves many times in our life because we change and evolve several times over the course of our existence. You may not be the same person you were ten years ago, nor will you be the same person ten years from now. Fundamental shifts in our views, beliefs and perspectives evolve over time and it is necessary to pause occasionally to reflect on how this has affected us as we traverse over new experiences, friendships, travel, health, challenges and everything else life throws our way. Thus is the innate beauty – the glory and wonder – of our lives, to seek the potential for continued enlightenment in the future. Life is like driving in the fog at night – you can only see as far as your headlights but you can find your tomorrow nonetheless as you witness each passing moment unfold.
I have no idea where I am headed. It has been foggy with treacherous curves on a dangerous mountainside for me. But I have both hands on the wheel carefully hugging the road, blindly moving towards light, love, hope and connection with nothing left but faith.