“Looking behind I am filled with gratitude. Looking forward I am filled with vision. Looking upward I am filled with strength. Looking within I discover peace.”
There is a Zen proverb that states the obstacle is the path. Oh, have I resisted this one along the way. I have fought with every ounce of strength in my body to prove that my problems in life were outside of me. It took me many years, and many lessons to understand that no matter the level of my suffering all of the answers to my suffering were within myself.
Life is challenging, as human beings we suffer. We suffer because we do not accept life exactly the way it is. We suffer because we spend emotional cycles wishing it were different that it is. We do not choose life, and when we do not choose we suffer and then we blame. This is the easy way out to point fingers outward at our lot in life. We point the blame at our suffering to our circumstances, our financial position, our sex, our race, our social status, or the infamous one on bad luck. When we point our fingers outward to the reason why our lives are not the way they are supposed to be we become a victim in our own play. In this state our lives become a series of disappointments that are directed at us from some known or unforeseen force. We suffer in this disempowered state and pine for a different existence as if wallowing in our own self pity. Never do we point our fingers back toward us and ultimately understand that we alone are accountable for our state of being. The road to self reflection and personal accountability seems from the outside as the bumpy, and difficult road. It feels easier to just point our fingers outward and not take any responsibility, because when we do this we don’t have to own anything. We are miserable in life and our payoff is blaming the world around us leaving us with an unhappy, disempowered and ordinary life.
I speak to this because I know. I resisted in the past. I went through challenges like so many others. Job troubles, divorce, serious financial challenges during the crash in 2008. I know, I have been homeless, slept on couches, lost relationships, thought I had lost my girls in a move to Europe. All this time I resisted and fought it. How many times did I wallow in the mantra of ‘why me?’ I played out this for a very long, painful time. I didn’t let this go until I did the work within and realized that this disempowering state served nothing to me.
When I turned the fingers inward and back to me and I took accountability of my entire life then things began to shift. First, I no longer gave power to these outward circumstances. There is a tremendous weight that comes off your shoulders when you let this go. When you understand that your context and state of being in this world is entirely up to you a rush of power comes to you as the victim card dissipates and you realize that you alone create your life. This is such a shift and a relief after spending a life spent pointing fingers outward. Second, I understood that the world to be done was within. I began to schedule time alone, spend time in nature and most importantly to meditate. When we meditate we begin to turn off the thousands upon thousands of thoughts that drain our mind in every moment. We learn to focus and find clarity. We learn to strip away the noise that does not serve us. What is left is our raw, authentic self that is vulnerable and filled with connection and emotion. This is your true being coming out one filled with compassion, gratitude and love. Not the masked illusion you have presented to the world that reacts to judgment and emotion. The deeper I looked within, the more layers I stripped away. The more layers I stripped away the more authentic I became. When you are centered with your true being you are authentic to yourself. As an authentic being filled with love you no longer will tolerate a life as a victim. You understand that choose your life in every moment no matter the circumstance. With this power you become free and filled with peace.
Life is exactly the way it is supposed to be. Stop resisting. Look within and find your authentic self. Choose your state of being in any circumstance. You are extraordinary and more powerful than you could ever image. You are divine, you are love. Look within and find it.
We are here on this planet to pull humanity up, to connect and serve other living beings. You are extraordinary. Change yourself, change the world.
Be well. Be love.
Thomas D. Craig
Igniting a revolution of love, an army of Zen Warriors fighting the ultimate battle within and fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves.