It is strange that at the end of the day, each decision that we are seemingly making, each behavior that we portray or rather that has become part of our being ultimately still includes and depends on an outer influence despite the countless reminders and persistent wisdom that surfaces that there is only One – You, or rather, Me.
The best part of this whole realization is that we cannot convince ourselves what more others we are indeed free by being an individual. I was reading a short excerpt from one of Osho’s reading sharing a story of a lion who was brought up by a herd of sheep and behaves like one until another lion brought him to a well to show him his own reflection. In that story, it was mentioned that lions move alone, being an individual while sheeps, they move and behave the same. Of course this is analogy of how we are all succumb to societal conditionings. Apparently, it is easier to control a sheep than a lion. And to train a lion, you need a whip. In the sheep’s case, it begins to feel so comfortable being in a group that it will cease to survive being alone. And a lion, after countless whipping eventually succumbs to the trainer, which to the trainer is a sign of obedience where in my knowing, is not but a condition moulded by the fear of being physically hurt. The lion, although knowing itself as a lion, has turned into a sheep.
Have you ever been in a position where you yearn for something in your heart and do not find any wrongness in it and yet afraid to move because of conditions? And what I do mean here is the conditions of others which in truth, has nothing to do with you. An example I have personally experienced quite recently is the sale of my house. My intents had been clear and yet I personally found it depressing each time I shared this idea with a family member whose ideas opposes mine about moving to a smaller dwelling. He reasoned that the current home is a better investment and in life, we must strive to have bigger things and not go backwards as what he perceives in my case. Now in my inner world, I understood where he was coming from as that is how the world apparently functions now especially if you are in the survival, money and investment game. Although I held what was true to my heart, which opposes his, I found an inner turmoil within me stirring each time my original thought and his opinion occurs in my mind. I felt as if I didn’t have to do something bad to be sent to hell by any karmic consequences when this body passes on as I was already in hell due to the inner conflict of views and his behavior of displeasure towards me. And despite the numerous reminders reflected back to just listen to my inner voice and to honor my choice, it was simply not possible. It was horrifying to come close to even opposing his views on how my life should be.
I will have to admit that it was anger which prompted me to be more firm on my decision to move on to the extent the final agreed price of the house was somewhat compromised in lower value of exchange. And because my mind has been conditioned to be open minded enough to see the bright side of things, I was eventually able to see that his behavior of displeasure towards me was actually a push for me to stand truer and stronger in my own integrity. Yes, the experience was unpleasant, but yet it brought me back to myself. And for that, I am secretly grateful to him.
This is the surface story with an experiential learning. In my own inner world, I knew my inner conflict had nothing to do with the outer world or this family member or even the idea of survival, money or investment. It was the conditioning of an ancient friend, approval seeking coupled with my own fears of moving on. As a dear friend mentioned, it is like treading on unfamiliar grounds, what more alone.
Yes, it was fearful. It was daunting. It was, to a certain extent, traumatizing. And although it was not one single step that led to a final leap (and honestly, I still experience the effects of it occasionally), yet I am thankful to the baby steps of courage I had bothered to take and the application of inner process which somehow brought about an inner strength. This inner strength peeled off my own tentacles and reliance on the world for love, for comfort, for approval.
Yet, while it seemed as if I did it all alone, I did not. Including the diligent inner process that my sincere intent had sown some fruits in some areas of my life and my unseen Masters, it was not only the people who lovingly supported and reminded me of my own loveliness and ability to transcend but the people who apparently gave me the hardest time, the deepest hurt, whom I never thought I could come close to embracing, accepting and most important of all, stand on my own grounds without being wavered of what is true to my heart. And I find it important to note too, the naturalness of not having to put them wrong while being firm.
I am alone today, as seen in the eyes of the world, and while at times I do experience some sense of loneliness when the simple joy of sharing with people who resonates somehow seems invisible, I don’t really feel alone but whole and clear. In that wholeness and clarity lies a natural capability to love with less and less conditions. That is my observation, for now.
I give thanks to all of which is past, though merely a memory with all its thwarted meanings without which I would not have grown dearer to myself, closer to what everybody is looking for – the God within.
And I invite you too, to begin your step, even if they are baby ones, with love and gentleness towards yourself. It is truly a gift only you can give yourself.