“To be awake is to be alive.” — Henry David Thoreau
There are some days when thinking gives way to feeling. This is one of those days for me.
Today, I am getting out of my head and into my heart. Why? Because my heart feels full. I feel grateful. I feel hopeful. I feel blessed.
This morning, I wanted to share with you a poem I recently wrote called “Blessed.” It’s called that because it’s how I’ve been feeling.
Now, I haven’t always felt this way. Even when people told me I was blessed, I didn’t always feel it, even though I knew intellectually that I was lucky and fortunate in my life. I’ve had to feel my way into feeling blessed. It’s taken time. It’s taken practice. I had to get there on my own.
So, if you woke up this morning feeling down — or feeling anything but blessed — trust me, I get it. I know it can be hard to feel blessed if you’re working paycheck to paycheck, if you’re fighting to put food on the table, if you’re getting over a break-up, if you’re battling a sickness, etc. Life can throw a lot of things our way that make us feel anything but blessed. I know some people in the Midwest may not be feeling blessed after the tornadoes and floods, but I hope they have had moments where a total stranger’s generosity has made them feel blessed in recent days.
I’ve learned along the way that feelings come and go. One thing that’s always helped me when I’ve woken up feeling down about life is to put my hand over my heart, take several deep breaths, and honor the feeling. Then, I ask it to leave.
So today, my wish for you is that you can take a step away from thinking and step into feeling. Ease your way into it. Feel your way into feeling blessed. I share my poem in hopes that it will help you get there.
Looking for ourselves in the eyes of others throws us behind the walls of a psychic prison. The door slams shut each time we find ourselves feeling good about ourselves simply because someone has given us a needed nod of approval. Let's investigate this strange sequence of psychological events that leaves us in a prison of our own making.
Whenever someone approves of us, it gives us a feeling we like. These silent emotions tell us that we're good, wanted, or in some way important. But the real pleasure in these sensations is that it secretly serves to strengthen the way we want to feel about ourselves, that we're worth being cared about, and that our existence has meaning.
If these positive emotions were the true end of a happy story, there wouldn't be a problem. But they're never the end. At the same satisfying moment of our being unconsciously identified with this feeling of being approved, something else is happening to us deep within our own uninvestigated nature.
The path of awakening is not one where we are eternally feeling good. Along it, it is inevitable that we move through moments and periods of not feeling good at all. As unsettling and disconcerting as this may be ultimately, as the spiritual beings that we are, we have not come here to feel eternally good but to get eternally free.
The spiritual path is all about releasing and letting go of that which no longer serves us
Awakening is not about adding anything onto us. It is not really about learning anything new either. But it is about releasing, letting go and unlearning. Inherently, we already are all that we will ever be. We already are as awakened as we will ever be. We already are as spiritual as we will ever be. The Divine is already inherently within us, and nothing can ever be added onto it to make it more or bigger.
However as we incarnate onto this planet we learn to create stories and fantasies about reality. Some are of our own making. Some we have inherited from the world. From our parents, relatives, guardians, society, culture. These oftentimes are stories that keep us small and limited.
The ego's mantra is: I am not enough and there is not enough. And so, most of the stories we buy into, arise from that perception. It is a limited perception keeping the inherent Divine Light from shining brightly.