As I have said before, I believe that all the answers we ever need are already within. We were born with our own innate compass and wisdom. I know firsthand however how easy it is to start believe that we need what is around us. Of course there are many great experiences to be had outside ourselves or even more seductive, there can be many sources of validation outside of ourselves. I think it is easy enough to understand why we don’t want to become dependent on outside sources for validation: if you lose the validation, you lose yourself, which can be especially true with relationships. Yeah, yeah, most of us have been there. ;)
The former point though (needing what is around us) can be a bit trickier to discern. Here is my personal example. For a while, I have been taking classes at a school that has given me a nice community and wonderful tools to further and deepen my personal growth. Recently however, I have found that I needed to take some personal space to be more present with myself and really integrate what I have learned thus far. I do think that was a perfect decision for me however within a few days, I found myself starting to grasp at the lessons that I might be missing by not attending class.
I had to come back to a place where I remembered what is most important to me in life; my spiritual growth. I’m not here to be on a fast track but I am here to know myself and deepen that relationship. By coming from a place of grasping or thinking that there was one answer or way to help me in my spiritual growth, I had lost sight of the truth that all I will every need is already within me. If I become fixated on needing something outside of myself, then I give up my personal power and the ability to do real, honest spiritual growth.
I can see now, that returning to self is a moment by moment practice. For now, I have decided to return to myself, to go within. However, tomorrow, I might be convinced that there is a yoga teacher in town that I absolutely must learn from until I myself become a yoga master. Who knows what it could be because there are many genuine and helpful sources of inspiration. Eventually though, I think that I will always remember that no matter where I go, there I am. All of the tools outside of ourselves are just that - tools (and wonderful experiences!) but they are never a substitute for our divine self. We are the answer that we seek; we are the source of peace that we are longing to find.
I hope that through every experience you have in life, you choose to bring yourself along. What I mean is that rather than losing yourself you chose to find yourself. It certainly is a commitment to bring yourself along because often times the way we feel or where we are at in this moment in our lives is a place we would rather escape. However, how can one find peace, which can only truly come from within, if we don’t ever choose to move through that which is uncomfortable? The beautiful experiences around us are opportunities to go within and cultivate our own peace and joy. The beautiful, inspirational, transformational, etc. experiences are not meant to just serve as a temporary salve to our pain.
Are there any times in your life where you have come to this conclusion? Or, are there any experiences you are having in life right now where you could shift your perception to see how these experiences are helpful but may not be the ultimate answer to finding you if you don’t allow yourself to be fully present? I suppose it is easier to see this from the opposite end of the spectrum. Perhaps you have experiences in your life that you really do not love but you know that they are still serving you to learn more about yourself and grow. Just as we know that the negative experiences are not the answer to ourselves, so too are the positive experiences. It is the returning to self, moment by moment, experience by experience that brings us to the peace and joy our soul is yearning to find.