Our world is currently in disarray. I just drove to Best Buy and picked out and purchased a new router all from inside my vehicle. I rarely encounter other people on the trails and if I do we make sure to keep as far away as possible while our dogs are desperately leaning in to try to smell one another. Parking lots are empty, businesses are closed, family pets are excited to have their people home and there is a thick cloud of worry that hangs densely in the air. We’re all trying to stay informed and prepared without panic and hysteria. There is so much uncertainty right now. We don’t know how long this will last if we will ever find a cure, how catastrophic it could be before it passes and what life beyond this will look like. All the while I can’t help but feel there is a bigger lesson to come out of all of this.
Almost everything we have done in our lives up to this point comes down to having or being enough. We have constantly been fighting against the feeling of not having enough. Not enough time, money, friends, sex, food, shoes, likes, shares, the list is never-ending. Now this same feeling, the feeling of lack, seems to permeate the very air around us. We are all being forced to face that fear right now. Because now, not having enough feels like life or death. In my opinion, this is a perfect opportunity to reflect on what really matters and brings us happiness. Most of us seek comfort in outside things rather than within ourselves. Our culture has conditioned us to believe that acquiring new things and having a highly esteemed career is what brings us a sense of worth and satisfaction. Which is simply not the case. This is great for our ego, that part of ourselves that wants us to be bigger, better, richer, or more important than others. But this just takes us further from accepting our true happiness because it will never be enough. We always aspire to own the latest phone or gadget and not one, but several media streaming services. Sure we may experience a small amount of joy when we buy a new outfit or faster car. These feelings are often short-lived, fleeting and before you know it we’re looking for an upgrade. There is a serious and wide-spread lack of individual fulfillment happening in our world today. Something that cannot be suppressed by accumulating stuff. This is because we are all spiritual beings having a material experience, or as Tolle puts it, experience as form. These forms: people, plants, couches, animals, food, everything, is all stuff we have created and are all part of what we know as existence or life. Accruing this stuff isn’t what makes us happy regardless of what society is telling us. Yet unfortunately, these things monopolize a large part of our existence. How much time is spent on obtaining a career with the promise that will enable us to accumulate even more stuff? Many people work their entire lives in order to live up to the material ideals of owning a house, car, electricity, etc. Not forgetting the even heavier tolls we pay like not raising our own children, polluting our atmosphere, or disassociating from society in general. In fact, we are so busy trying to be and have enough that we don’t even listen to ourselves. That connection we have to our higher self, soul, God, source, whatever you want to call it, this is what guides us to our passions and ultimately brings us pleasure and satisfaction.
I believe every person on Earth has a purpose. Many of us have multiple, wonderful talents that produce the feeling of being in the zone when we are able to tap into this connection and engage in our craft. We have all witnessed when a person is moved by passion and purpose. I was a musician in college and I remember hearing a cellist say after a very successful recital that it didn’t feel like it was actually he who was playing. I think what he meant was that he was so connected with his inner being that the music just flowed through him. I’ve even heard that pianists are taught to not struggle or concentrate on every note but to just surrender and allow their fingers to move magically across the keys. What a life that would be to live and enjoy! When we move with a purpose greater than ourselves, we experience a harmony that fills our very being without resistance. If we remove ourselves from the illusion of competition and scarcity, human existence is limitless. This isn’t easy, so many times I want to cling to the illusions and feel fear creep in. But after learning first hand that adding to my piles of stuff isn’t what makes me happy, I have embraced the call to find another way to live.
How do we recognize our purpose? I have toiled with this question ad nauseam over the past several years. I have traveled the world just to find that the answer lies within myself. Our purpose is what calls to us in the middle of the night. Our purpose is what we want to do when we wake up in the morning or what occupies our thoughts when we experience a lull within our normal activities. Our purpose is the thing that we have a natural affinity for and the thing that calms us and clears our minds. We are all called to this and have been since we were young. The problem with our current society is that we are so preoccupied with the things that don’t matter, that we usually block out this call. This is why I believe now is the perfect time to look profoundly at our lives. Every one of us is being given a chance to look at the way we have been living and decide whether it matches up with whom we wanted to be when we were little when the world seemed limitless. We are being given time to get real with ourselves and to seek out our very own souls and what makes them sing. This is a temporary separation from society and all the strings which bind us to a mediocre and unobserved life. This is truly a gift if we allow it. Positive thinking isn’t ignorance of reality, it is instead recognizing and utilizing your power to create the life you want from what you’ve been given. Right now. We can either allow our fears and our minds to control how we pass this time, or we can reach deep inside and remember what we are capable of.