Last year I volunteered once a week in my son’s Kindergarten class. Sometimes I’d do yoga with the kids which was awesome, and other times I’d read them a story, which I also loved. One day when I showed up, I was handed a book to read, and about midway through I realized it was going to be some story about a prince saving a princess, and I just could not finish the book. I made up a different ending where the prince and princess worked together to solve their problems, and in the end, he went one way and she went the other, and they stayed great friends for life. Because, honestly, the stories we’ve been telling are just so lame. They’re set-ups. And we do it all day long. We are taught that we have to compete to survive. We are taught that we don’t look right or feel right. We are sold an idea that if we could just get it together and make enough money and diet enough, and live in the right house and drive the right car, and eat at the right places, and work out enough and get ourselves to make everything on the outside as perfect and shiny as possible, we’d meet the “right” person, and well, then, we’d be happy! And do you know what I want to say to you? Those are all fat lies. And this is the stuff we grow up on, and feed ourselves, and feed our children.
So unless you were home-schooled, or your parents kept you away from television and radio and fairy-tales with stupid endings, or you grew up in some nirvana where these things didn’t exist (let me know where that is if you did), at a certain point, you are just bound to come up against it. “It” being the lies at the heart of this thing. Because you can do all that stuff. You can live in a huge house and drive an expensive car, and meet an amazing person, but if you are not happy on the inside, and if you have not figured out that you are here to spread love and kindness, you will still be miserable. Because there’s a void when we are not living in a truthful way. The void can be filled temporarily with any of those highly-coveted items from the above list, but the feeling of satisfaction, elation, and “rightness” won’t last. You are the right person.
It’s much easier to think if you work hard enough and stop sucking so much, then you’ll be happy. Because it gives you something to do, some sense of control. That’s a lot easier to deal with than the reality that there are life’s big questions that you will have to wrestle with if you want to be at peace, that nothing is certain in this life, and that one day you will die. I think I’ll take, “working hard and not sucking behind door number one, please!” But you can’t because door number one is a closet full of illusions. At a certain point, if you open to your own sensitivity, your own intuition, you’re going to realize there’s another door. It’s at the end of a path that’s painful to navigate. It’s hard to see where you’re going because it’s dark, and you probably won’t have many tools at your disposal as you leave the land of Should. It’s likely that many of the people closest to you will tell you to wait, to come back and sit down and stop being crazy. The only way to buy the lies is to numb out. There are so many ways to do that. Alcohol, drugs, sex, over or under-eating, shopping, the internet…doesn’t it seem obvious that we’ve found a million and one ways to distract ourselves? What are we so scared of? Why are we afraid to sit still? To breathe? To open? To remember who and what we are?
There’s so much love within each of us. They say we use 10% of our brains, and I think most people use 10% of their hearts and their intuition, too. Any questions you have about yourself, your purpose, or what it is that’s going to feed your soul and set you on fire, are inside. If you’re willing to work, no one can stop you from healing. If you’re willing to see clearly, to keep your eyes open even when you’re confronted with your deepest pain, to lean into the darkest places you’ve got and open to them, receive them, embrace them, so that there is no longer any need for secrets, then no one can stop you. Door number one only seems easier. It’s sleep-walking through life, and people do it all the time. Behind the second door is your happiness, your peace, and your healing. I really hope you find the determination and courage to head toward that door. Because when you heal yourself and open up to all that love within you, you won’t be able to help but spread it. Sending you a big hug and a lot of love right now, Ally Hamilton