"Everything will be okay as soon as you are okay with everything." That's a quote from p. 95 of "The Untethered Soul" by Michael Singer. I highlighted and starred it in my book last night.
That's the truth though. The reason things aren't "ok" is because we don't let them be ok. We don't accept. We don't let go. We live in fear. We try to control.
But if we let go. If we release our vice grip on our world and the circumstances in it, we will be ok. Because the Universe is ok just the way it is. Not just ok, perfect. The sooner we really see and accept this, the better.
"Yeah, yeah, I know the Universe is perfect. I know everything happens for a reason. But I just don't want _______ in my life. If that [person/situation/event] were just gone, I and life would be so much better!"
Have you said something akin to that? I know I have. I thought I got things. I "knew" the Universe was perfect, and everything happened in Divine Timing, and it was all for my benefit and to learn from . I "knew" all that, yet I wasn't fully accepting it. Hence, my fear-driven actions, anxiety, worry, and stress on a frequent basis.
"The prerequisite to true freedom is to decide that you do not want to suffer anymore. You must decide that you want to enjoy your life and that there is no reason for stress, inner pain, or fear. Every day we bear a burden that we should not be bearing. We fear that we are not good enough or that we will fail. We experience insecurity, anxiety, and self-consciousness. We fear that people will turn on us, take advantage of us, or stop loving us.... Every day we are either feeling it, or we are protecting ourselves from feeling it.... People do not understand how much they are suffering because they have never experienced what it is like not to suffer," (Singer p. 89).
"You are either trying to stop suffering, controlling your environment to avoid suffering, or worrying about suffering in the future. This state of affairs is so prevalent that you don't see it, just as a fish doesn't see the water," (p. 90).
"Look how often you think about how you're doing, whether you like things or not, and how to rearrange the world to please yourself. You think like this because you're not okay inside, and you're constantly trying to make yourself feel better," (p. 90).
"Inner sensitivity is a symptom of non-well-being. It's the same as when the body sends pain or displays other symptoms when it's not well. Pain is not bad; it's how the body talks to you.... Your psyche is communicating through its universal language: fear. Self-consciousness, jealousy, insecurity, anxiety -- they are all fear," (p. 91).
Why are we so messed up? Or maybe you're not, but I have been. Why? Singer offers his explanation in what I found to be very true, and humorous because it's so utterly ridiculous once you hear it.
"You have mistreated [your psyche] by giving it a responsibility that is incomprehensible.... You said to your mind, 'I want everyone to like me. I don't want anyone to speak badly of me. I want everything I say and do to be acceptable and pleasing to everyone. I don't want anyone to hurt me. I don't want anything to happen that I don't like. And I want everything to happen that I do like.' Then you said, 'Now, mind, figure out how to make every one of these things a reality, even if you have to think about it day and night.' And of course your mind said, 'I'm on the job. I will work on it constantly.'... That is why the mind is so active; you gave it an impossible task to do," (p. 91).
Can you see your own truth in Singer's explanation? When I read it, I was like, "Huh." It's true, yet so amazingly ridiculous that it's incredible that we do that. But we do.
"This is what has broken the psyche. The signs of the body breaking are pain and weakness. The signs of the psyche breaking are underlying fear and incessant neurotic thought."
Ok... my psyche was definitely broken!
"At some point you have to wake up and acknowledge that you have a problem inside.... This act of constant worrying about yourself is a form of suffering. But how to you get it to stop? Many people try to fix their inner problems by getting better at the same external games they have always played.... Your thoughts are about the problem, why it is bothering you, ad what you can do about it. If you don't do something about this, it will go on for the rest of your life....[Y]our mind is always telling you that you have to change something outside in order to solve your inner problems," (p. 92).
"You should never have to figure out how to be okay, or how to not be scared, or how to feel loved. You should not have to devote your life to your psyche," (p. 93).
Ok, so what do we do about it? How do we "be ok" without worrying about it and trying to "make it happen?"
"The key is to be quiet....You, the one inside watching the neurotic mind, just relax....You are not the thinking mind; you are aware of the thinking mind.... You can watch the mind being neurotic and not get involved....The mind runs because you are giving it the power of your attention. Withdraw your attention, and the thinking mind falls away," (p. 95-96).
"[Your] trigger points will help remind you to remain centered. Eventually it will become quiet enough so that you can simply watch the heart begin to react, and let go before the mind starts.... [T]he shifts of energy in your heart cause you to instantaneously be aware that you are back there noticing. The mind doesn't even get a chance to start up because you let go at the heart level," (p. 97).
I have noticed this within myself. If you pay attention I'm sure you will too. You maybe already have. When you're feeling fear, your heart constricts. It closes. It's trying to protect itself and you. That is the first sign that you need to let go and relax. I blogged about this in my "Open to Love" post a few days ago.
This was one of my first lessons from Michael Singer. To notice the constriction in the heart and notice that is the first sign of fear in our bodies. Then our mind jumps all over it and starts in with all the fear-based thoughts and talk. So if we can notice the fear signals at the heart level, as Singer instructs, we can nip it in the bud. We can let it go right then, instead of letting our mind go to all those dark places it likes to go where we get chewed up and spit out, if we're lucky.
Last night my boyfriend came over after work to talk. We had been spending more time together over the past week and things were progressing back to where we were before I ended it and he moved out. It felt good to be with him again, and I wanted to see how he was feeling.
He told me that he wanted to be together again too, but there were a few areas of concern on his mind. I could have named them before he did. 1) He is friends with his ex-wife again and didn't know how I felt about that and 2) He wants a long-term, marriage commitment (at some point) and wanted to make sure that's the direction I was heading too and wanted that as well.
I explained to him, the best I could, how I see things differently now. How I look back to the two years we were together, and see how much I freaked out and how afraid I was of stuff (mostly in regards to his ex-wife), and don't want to go back to that place any more than he does. I told him about Michael Singer's book and how much I've learned and grown over the past couple of months.
I really do want to not live in fear. I just want to live in love. I want to live in peace. And now I see that it's my choice. And it's your choice.
I know I'm well on my way to living in that state. And it feels amazing!
When I feel the fear begin -- the heart constricting -- I know now to just notice it and not jump into the black hole with it. For example, last night before my boyfriend came over, I knew what we were going to talk about. And I was scared. I was nervous. I could literally feel my heart closing and constricting. So I simply noticed it. And I let go. I sat on my couch before he arrived and put my hands out to the sides (in an open posture) and reminded myself to "Open in Love." Just saying those words, and meaning them (while focusing on my heart with my mind's eye), I felt the change happen. I felt my heart open. Sure, sometimes it would close right back up again, in fear, so I just repeated it. "Open in Love." "Open." It works.
We're not going to never experience fear or unpleasant feelings. We're human. That's part of the experience here in this body. But the key is to notice the experience and let it pass on through you. You don't have to dive into the experience and think about it, worry about it, and make it worse. Just notice the feelings, let them come up and out, and gently remind yourself to be "Open in Love."
Because truly, just as the quote states at the opening of this post, when you are ok with everything, everything will be ok. It all starts with you. And everything is given to you by the Universe for your benefit. Everything. It's time we accept it, love it even, and just love.
*I put the following quote up in my bathroom. It's my new favorite "3 rules of life."
On a side, but related, note... Two nights ago I had an idea for a line of clothing that says simply, "Just Love." Because truly, that's what it's all about, and I thought it would be nice to wear a reminder of it, and to put those words out into the world in a way that people could see them. So when I got up in the morning I got on the internet and searched "Just Love." And it turns out someone is already doing this! I don't know if you've heard about this company, but obviously I hadn't.
Just Love is a really cool company that makes different clothing pieces for men, women, and children with that simple phrase on the front. On the back are different love quotes, which I thought were great. I actually ordered a couple things last night. I get nothing from this company, but when I see something I like and am excited about, I like to share. I just thought it was so cool how it had never occurred to me to search for something like this on the internet until now... and when I do, I discover this amazing company that makes cute, simple clothes that I'll actually wear. Just another way to spread the message and be a reminder not just to myself, but others. :)