Before we can reawaken to the joy of living, we have to awaken to the reality of living...and that is often uncomfortable.
I am struggling to figure out how to express what I have to share...
I'm an optimist and a visionary - I naturally see the world as I know it has the potential to be, and sometimes that prevents me from seeing the world as it truly is today, here and now. I naturally see people as who they have the potential to be, and sometimes that prevents me from seeing them as they are today, here and now. I desperately want to help people individually, and humanity as a whole, achieve that potential. But what I'm realizing is that to achieve potential, we have to honor exactly where we are today, here and now. And sometimes where we are today is a hard pill to swallow.
I like to focus on what is possible and strive toward making it a reality. I believe that if we keep envisioning our future and working toward what is possible then we will get there. The law of attraction, right?? But if we're not honest about what stands in our way, and we can't sit with it and embrace it as a part of the journey, then we will never truly heal it or transform it. It will continue to hold us back from achieving our potential. If we're not honest about the pain that lives in our heart then we can't fully experience the love that is our essence. If we can't look reality in the eye and welcome it to our table for a meal then we will never be able to embrace the fullness of who we are as beings of light in human bodies.
I feel that it is important to speak to how challenging that path is, the path to our potential. Even when joy and love are the rewards, the path itself is not joyful and loving. Even when freedom and authenticity are the benefits, we often feel like enslaved frauds along the way. Even when we know we will have true, open-hearted connection with ourselves and others as a result of walking this path, the path itself is often lonely, painful and full of false truths.
All of the beauty and elation that we are striving for is cultivated out of the shit that gets unearthed from within us along the way.
Did you get that?
From WITHIN US.
It's not someone else's shit - it's not shit that was thrown at us or piled on top of us, it's not society's shit or our parent's shit or our ex's shit. It's OUR shit. Once we accept that the shit exists, own the shit, take responsibility for the shit and can be present with it, then it can be transformed. It can be transformed into fertile soil within which we can plant the seeds of joy and love, freedom and authenticity, truth and connection.
As the seeds grow, we cultivate the seedlings and nurture them through stormy weather until their roots are strong enough to withstand the gusts of life. And just as those seedlings become strong enough to need less constant tending, new shit surfaces and needs to be transformed. Tending to our garden of potential is a never-ending process. Our potential is not a destination, not a final product, it is a journey. And if we are doing the work, transforming the shit into gifts, our potential becomes our reality.
The process of awakening to the reality of living, and thus, reawakening to the joy of living, is a life-long process.
All of these have to be found and cultivated along the way. And, while we are the only ones who can make the journey for ourselves, we need friends and allies to walk beside us and catch us when we fall, comfort us when we are weary, and celebrate us when we find those moments of clarity and peace. We need mentors who have walked the path themselves, to assure us that we are not alone and we are not lost (or crazy). And we need those who may not understand the path or what we are going through, but who love us unconditionally and can laugh with us when we need a break from our new reality.
The harsh reality is that reality is harsh.
But it's not something to fear, not something to hide from, and not something to ignore. When we wake up and realize that we're all cultivating the shit together, in the same garden called "Earth", that we're all coping with our own version of reality, then we can come together and tap into our potentials - as individuals and as a species. We each contribute the fertile soil we have cultivated and grow a garden of heaven, right here on Earth.