Pushing In

We cannot simultaneously desire change and comfort.

Change, of the sort that matters most, requires discomfort and particularly, the discomfort from being under pressure.

Could be the pressure of a hard decision or conversation. A time-sensitive matter. A physical issue. A relationship. A financial challenge.

Whatever it is, it's got your attention. It's helping you realise that something in your status quo is not working or serving you to the best of its ability.

Quite likely, you know what needs to be done but you're afraid to do it. That's pressure. Knowing what needs to be done but not feeling suitably able to do it.

It's at this point of inflection where we either push forward toward a solution or retreat back into the problem. One decision is by no means more noble than the other. Both carry equal value. The question is whether or not your decision is going to sit right with you in the end, which is something only you can answer.

Pushing forward or turning towards the pressure asks you to let go of control. It's like stepping into an uncharted part of a map. There are no familiar reference points. No signs pointing the way. You are forced then to rely on a different set of faculties to get where you want to go, namely, your intuition and present-moment awareness.

Meeting the pressure brings you into the unknown where you no doubt rely on technique you have already developed but where you also learn entirely new approaches informed from your moment-by-moment understanding, as the new map begins to appear.

Like learning to swim or ride a bike, this work is both nerve wracking and a lot of fun.* You get to see what you are made out of and, many times, you see you are much stronger than you thought yourself to be.

* Nobody said it needs to be pretty.

Start Being That

To get there requires going 100% of the way.

"There" means mastery, or the fully developed you that is no longer dependent upon approval and validation to feel secure and whole.

We all want to get there, that much is certain.

What is not certain is if we'll go all the way to do so.

Any way you look at it, it is a hard journey. The first few feet are hard... the middle parts are hard... but if the difficulty of this journey of enlightenment could be measured, we'd find that the final 10% presents as the most difficult and perilous.

Many of us will reach that precipice and stop. We've come a long way, we feel relatively good, and have acquired great skill. We see that the final 10% of the way asks us to do something brand new and unfamiliar.

Go it alone and risk total annihilation.

At this point, you are beyond help. Nobody can advise you. Nobody is going to be there if you fall.

You have to learn to be your own master and your own friend, and you have to leave all the tools and resources you used to reach this point, behind. It is a total stripping down.

Initially, this is scary. Yet, you think back to your original commitment you made to the journey in the first place and you understand how necessary and how beautiful this part is and can be.

Wouldn't it be something to know in the deepest chamber of your heart, you need nothing?

That you are the master you've been waiting for? And that now the only thing required is for you to start being that?

Everything is gained in the last mile. Everything prior was preparation only.

Beyond Personality

Successful personalities get paid a lot of money.

We tend to admire and glorify those with the most engaging personalities.

And from these examples, we adopt our own to try and get what we want—love, respect, fame and even their opposites.

The personality is what masks and protects your self from being seen, and from being punished or rewarded.

The self is the "you" beyond personality. The you that doesn't act. The you that just is. The you that needs nothing.

You could describe the self as utterly unremarkable and, also, utterly remarkable at the same time—like a cloud.

The self is where our authentic thoughts and feelings arise from. Thoughts and feelings that may come into conflict with socially-agreed upon norms, or cultural and familial expectations. So we bury the self and adopt personalities.

For those walk the path of truth, a significant portion of the journey is spent undoing the personality, which means learning to identify between the you that looks for approval and validation and the you that just is.

Through this process, we steady. We move from being externally-oriented to internally-oriented. When we are externally-oriented, we become like ping pong balls, bouncing this way and that, utterly controlled by the whims circumstance. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Sometimes here, sometimes there.

This life becomes crazy-making in the end, fun thought it is.

When we are internally-oriented, we self define. We do not go outside looking for the answer. We move because we are moved not because we feel we need to (or else).

Theatrics lessens, drama lessens, and harmony increases.

To move beyond personality requires great personal sacrifice. We have to give up wanting. We have to give up lust. We have to give up greed. We learn to say, "I have enough because I am enough."

Yes, the personality will help you get what you think you want or what others say you should want but at what price to your self?

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 
— 
Mark 8:36

It begins to hurt, leading with your personality. Something feels missing and as yet unfulfilled. All the riches you acquire begin to taste bitter.

Renunciation is now desired. Renouncing from the world does not necessarily mean shaving your head, donning robes, and begging for alms. No. Renunciation, above all, is an internal disposition.

It is a choice we make to give up false pretences. To give up seeking approval. To give up seeking validation. And while this may entail some outward changes to appearance, more than anything, the choice charts us on a new course toward a new destination.

We are looking for ourselves. Not who we think we should be but who we really are.