“The hard things break. The soft things bend. The stubborn ones batter themselves against all that is immovable. The flexible adapt to what is before them. Of course, we are all hard and soft, stubborn and flexible, and so we all break until we learn to bend and are battered until we accept what is before us. This brings to mind the Sumerian tale of Gilgamesh, the stubborn, hard king who sought to ask the Immortal One the secret of life. He was told that there would be stones on his path to guide him. But in his urgency and pride, Gilgamesh was annoyed to find his path blocked, and so smashed the very stones that would help him. In his blindness of heart, he broke everything he needed to discover his way. With the same confusion, we too break what we need, push away those we love, and isolate ourselves when we need to be held most. There have been many times in my life when I have been too proud to ask for help or too afraid to ask to be held, and in the frenzy of my own isolation, like Gilgamesh, I have smashed the window I was trying to open, have split the bench I was trying to hammer, and have made matters worse by bruising the one I meant to be tender with. The live bough bends. The dead twig snaps. We are humbled to soften from our griefs, or else, in brittle time, become the next thing grieved.”
“You consistently hear messages about putting fear aside and being fearless. To keep yourself in a place where you avoid feeling fear is to resist the very nature of being human – growing, learning, feeling and ultimately creating.
To be human requires you to feel fear. When you keep trying to make it go away and you are still alive, you can experience tension.
The goal is to be in a long term, committed relationship with fear. Only by accepting that fear will always be there for you can you become curious about what it has to teach you. When you get to know fear from curiosity, you can transform the angst and tension into patience. This relationship can be one of the most fruitful ones you have.” -Samira Far
“I’m at my strongest when I’m able to let go, when I suspend my beliefs as well as disbeliefs, and leave myself open to all possibilities. That also seems to be when I’m able to experience the most internal clarity and synchronicities. My sense is that the very act of needing certainty is a hindrance to experiencing greater levels of awareness. In contrast, the process of letting go and releasing all attachment to any belief or outcome is cathartic and healing. The dichotomy is that for true healing to occur, I must let go of the need to be healed and just enjoy and trust in the ride that is life.”
–Anita Moorjani, Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing
Chapter Six – Acceptance: The Method of Effortlessness
Each of us has a strong desire to live a life free from all unwanted conditions: illness, misfortune, old age, and death. A few weeks ago someone asked me to talk about old age. I could see from the expression on his face that he was experiencing fear regarding the problem of so-called old age. As long as we are living in this human form it is impossible to have a life that is completely free from the conditions that we don’t want: old age, illness, and other kinds of problems.
This primal desire for perfect conditions is a complex mixture of our instinctual impulse for physical comfort and our unconscious drive to be free from anything that even remotely reminds us of our fragility and mortality. As a result each of us constantly fantasizes about having an utterly perfect existence. We want to be in a paradise, in a heaven free from every circumstance we don’t want to face. In all of human history, no one has actualized that kind of a life. Still we maintain and feed this childish fantasy that if we fight hard enough against reality, then sooner or later we will achieve this idealized life, free from all unwanted conditions and situations. Some of us work very hard fighting against reality.
One time I was invited to a party. There were a few people drinking champagne and soaking in a hot tub and, while they were in these very nice circumstances, they were complaining about their lives. They were complaining at that same exact moment they were drinking champagne and soaking in a hot tub and right after they had finished eating a very nice dinner. You see that this is contradictory. In some sense this is a little out of balance. These people had everything. They were having a fantastic time in terms of enjoying worldly pleasures and at the same time they were creating an imaginary experience of suffering and conflict. What they were complaining about doesn’t really exist. If you looked for a reason to suffer, you could not find it anywhere in the proximity of their current situation.
In the same way, when we think that we have conflicts and hindrances, most of the time we can never actually find out where these conflicts and hindrances are. That’s because they are only found lingering in our consciousness. Our consciousness is like a factory where we create all kinds of imaginary problems. It is a big factory.
People always suffer either consciously or unconsciously because they mistakenly believe that if they fight against reality then they will be able to achieve their fantasies.