Each of us has an innate capacity for insight and well-being. At our core, we are inherently whole, wise, perfect, untarnishable, and unbreakable. We all have immediate access to peace of mind, enjoyment, and effectiveness.
There’s a good chance you think those assertions are a pile of bull crap. It sounds nice, and wouldn’t it be great if it were accurate, but it’s simply not true. It’s some kind of positive-thinking or escapist hopefulness that doesn’t reflect our actual experience.
Maybe it could be true if you hadn’t made the choices you’ve made, had the family you had, went to the school you attended, had that thing happen to you, had that other thing happen to you, or seen that other thing happen to someone else. But those words certainly don’t apply to anyone in the real world except maybe babies.
Well those words are true for each of us. So why don’t we feel it, and why don’t we see it more easily?
We've been trained to think otherwise. We’ve been conditioned to view ourselves, others, the world, and life itself as an unending engagement with circumstances that challenge us and then define us. X happens and we respond in Y way. X happens and it means Y about us, others, or life. It’s inevitable that this is how we work, and we’ve turned out this way because of our past experiences.
Ridiculous things happen to us, and so much of it really is outrageous! I am so angry that they did that! That must be so upsetting for you! Poor us! The world is against us, and it’s taking everything we’ve got not to crumble under the weight of it all. All we can do is resist the forces of evil trying to drag us down. The best we can do is turn our victimhood into empowerment to persecute the true perpetrators!
That’s all a bit extreme, but not too far off the mark for many of us. Circumstances happen to us, and the best we can seem to do is survive them. In any conflict or perceived conflict, we shift among the three roles of the drama triangle, and that’s just how it is.
So yes, those words don't feel real to us because we've been conditioned to see life a different way.
Another reason we don’t experience ourselves as the free, divine, and enlightened beings we already are is that it would mean that we really are solely responsible for our experience of life.
If I acknowledge that I am inherently well, then I can’t blame another for my lack of wellness. I can’t blame another for my frustrations. I can’t blame my past for my current shortcomings. I can’t blame myself or my family or society or substances or even my own thinking for my seeming inability to be well. I can’t resign myself to a future of “more of the same.”
Some of us don’t blame others as much as we blame ourselves. Some of us have an intuitive sense that only we are to blame for our tough experience of life. We might realize that we can’t point our finger out there and blame anyone else because only we are to blame.
But that’s more of the same!
I’m not suggesting that being responsible means that we take on blame for all of our challenges and suffering. I’m actually suggesting that there’s no one to blame. Blame itself is a way to avoid being responsible, and blame itself is part of what keeps us feeling down.
I’m suggesting, instead, that there’s always an opportunity to take radical responsibility for our experience, our actions, and our results.
This is why the question that always delivers continues to be the most powerful question I can ask myself or another. It’s a reminder that we’ve always got agency. Here are the three forms of the question that I like to use:
The idea that we are innately well and perfect is revolutionary. Not only does it take courage to see it, but it takes trust and a willingness to be vulnerable. It’s been said by our favorite sages for thousands of years - look around, look within, and wake up to heaven and the God that’s already among us - and we sort of believe them, but not really.
Participating in this conversation helps us shake loose our conditioned thinking that there’s anything innately wrong. There’s not anything wrong, and transforming our experience doesn’t need to be hard, take a lot of “work,” or exist as a possibility for only some of us. If you're human, it applies to you.
Conversations, trainings, coaching, and exploring are all ways to awaken to this truth about ourselves. Our conditioned pathways of thinking will disagree, but our deeper knowing will get the cosmic point.
"Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be." - James Baldwin
Thanks so much for engaging with my work. ❤️