Losing ourselves in life’s shadows can be part of finding ourselves again in a brighter light. When we forget who we really are, getting lost in distractions, relationships, or routines; we may be going through needed experiences to grow and change. Creation is light and shadow both, like the shading of a black and white photograph, else no picture is possible. Darkness is a place which, by contrast, is designed to help us better see the light. Getting temporarily lost in it is normal. Staying lost in it could distract from our life’s purpose. Rather than identifying and dealing with it for what it really is, many choose to redefine darkness as light, avoiding truth, responsibility, and growth in the process. When this occurs, they may have a defensive investment in maintaining this illusion, and so may gravitate toward those who agree with them, strengthening and broadening the illusion; and may avoid those who know and live in the light. Such denial and avoidance will result in the inhibition of true growth and change, the sacrificing of life’s purpose for the human ego, and an inability to rediscover who we really are. So let’s traverse these sometimes murky corridors together and see if we can find our way back to the light of our true nature.
Have you, like the sea, the wind, and the sun; the ne-ne goose, passion flower, and Areka palm; the Lemurian quartz, snowflake, and lavender; discovered your reason for being here? Our purpose relates to that which is natural for us, as with all other forms of nature, but we humans, unlike everything else, seem to have a harder time recognizing it. Perhaps this is because the mind, which was intended to help us process higher consciousness and translate it into material world realizations, has instead become the servant of our egos. If we try to discover our life purpose based on our ego, then it will likely relate to things that bring us a sense of superiority, attention, pleasure, or power over others; rather than the natural things that will bring us joy and fulfillment.
Life is full of things, internally and externally, that will turn our attention away from that which is natural for us. Common distractions may include ego issues, such as inadequacy, unfairness, control, and trust; pleasure, as with food, sex, mind-altering substances, and desired attention; power, such as that wielded by churches, political groups, corporations, and money; entertainment, like video games, smart phones, movies, and TV series; and our self image in a social context. If such things become important to us, then what we perceive as our purpose may be, at least in part, determined by them and their influence on our lives. This would then, at least subconsciously, become a part of who we believe ourselves to be. But is it? Were we really created to spin around endlessly in egoic cycles of purposeless distraction? Like the shadow and the light, if we lose ourselves, and our purpose, in such things (shadow); let it be a temporary way for us to, by contrast, find our true purpose, and higher self (light) — rather than a perpetual way of living life.
Because we want to be accepted, liked, and approved of by others; we may sacrifice ourselves for a relationship. In the back of our minds we may plan to reclaim ourselves some day, and then lose track of who we are along the way. A healthy relationship will encourage the broadening and building of our true nature, rather than its disappearance. But how many of us are really focusing on such things during those infatuation-driven fantasies that deliciously consume the first 6-12 months of a new relationship? 🙂 So when the fairy dust settles, what remains? And how do we even know? Is our true nature higher and stronger? “What true nature?” you ask. “Where did it go? What is it now?” It is important to remain mindful of who we are and what is real while caught in the clutches of this rhapsodic radiance. Things like daily meditation, hiring a dating coach, keeping a journal, identifying red flags and tracking them, making those hard decisions and moving on if needed, and holding on to a sense of our own needs in the mix (rather than giving ourselves away in the service of another); may keep us from losing ourselves in a relationship.
Structured routines can reduce anxiety, increase productivity, and create the illusion of control; but they can also limit awareness, growth, and change. After considering our unique needs, it may be beneficial to periodically challenge ourselves with the rearrangement of our lives in as many ways as possible. Some of us can tolerate broader and more expansive changes than others, and may want to keep this in mind. After making the adjustments, if we need the structure to help manage anxiety, depression, or neurological uniqueness; then we can apply it (the structure) to the newly transformed situation. If we, for whatever reason, remain trapped within a lifetime of routines, then we may confuse their focus with our purpose, and even wwith the truth of who we are. So let routines be the rhythms, but not the reasons, for our lives.
If we are reborn to our true nature, which we all knew naturally as babies, then we will rediscover who we really, really are. We are not our egos, or the many different things our egos serve. We are not mindless distractions, or the objects that may draw away our focus. We are not a relationship, and must make sure that two make three instead of one (both individuals and the couple as a unit “3″, instead of both individuals losing themselves into just the relationship ”1” ). We are not routines, or the things that they administer. We are ambassadors of nature, universal emissaries, like our dogs and cats, and our flowers, herbs, and trees. We can find ourselves in the awareness, intuition, and instincts present there. If something brings us a natural sense of joy and fulfillment, then this is a part of who we are. If it does not, then it is not. Joy and fulfillment are sustainable states, not a temporary infatuation. Give yourself permission to recognize which rendition of life’s condition is your new edition. If you lose your way, then, like mindfulness meditation, as soon as you notice, just find your way back again, bringing with you everything you learned along the way. Life is so much fun! 🙂
Photo Credit: Greg Foster