Yoga is a process of getting real with yourself, so you can be at peace. If who you say you are is different than who you’re being in the world, then you know where you have work to do. Ideally, your hunger to deal with reality as it is outweighs your desire to deny, run, or numb out, to pretend things are different than they are, or to cling to a version of reality that exists only in your mind.
We all have our narratives about ourselves, about the situations in our lives, and about other people. The greater the difference between what we tell ourselves is happening and what is actually happening, the more lost we are. People boil themselves in pain and rage, and create stories that paint other people as villains, themselves as victims, other people as lost, while they’re enlightened, other people as weak while they’re strong. Few people have a story about how they’re fallible and have probably made as many or more mistakes than the person next to them, though that’s probably the most accurate story any of us could have about ourselves. We’re so quick to judge, to separate, to create an “us” and a “them”, when the truth is, we’re all dealing with difficult parameters, and we’re much more the same than we are different.
We’re on a tiny pale blue dot of a spinning planet in a vast universe, and we exist in one of at least five hundred known solar systems. We don’t know how long we have in the bodies we inhabit, and we don’t know how long anyone else has, even those we cherish and treasure and love beyond words and reason. We don’t know what happens after this. It’s understandable that we want to control things and create constructs and stories to make ourselves feel that we have some jurisdiction over how we feel and what happens to us, but the truth is, we never know what’s going to happen from day to day. Some people have an easier time taking their sticky hands off the steering wheel than others.
The more we can look openly, honestly, and with compassion at the places where we’re afraid, where we feel confronted or hopeless or angry or heartbroken, the more we can be accountable for the energy we’re spreading as we move through the world, and the more we can experience true freedom. If we’re here for a blink of time, it might as well be amazing, right? We may as well offer up every great thing within us, but it’s hard to do that if we’re not willing to look at ourselves clearly, and get to work bridging the gap between who we say we are, and who we’re being. Peace comes when there’s very little gap between the two.
The same holds true for a country. If who we say we are is different than who we’re being in the world, then we know where we have work to do. Instead of pointing fingers and blaming others, we look honestly at how we’re being, and we get to work. Today is a day for barbeques and fireworks and spending time with family if you’re here in the states, but hopefully we also think about why we have the day off. That way tomorrow, we get back to work. Happy 4th to those who celebrate!
Sending you love, and wishing you peace,
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