I’ve always noticed certain dynamics, certain patterns in our thoughts and behaviors, and in that noticing, they never really bothered me. It’s as if in knowing that the behavior is perfectly normal, in knowing that “everybody” does it, any self-criticism, shame, or resistance to the behavior holds no power. There’s a space between the behavior and the one who perceives the behavior and in that small gap, lies peace.
Take crying with a friend as a simple example. When a friend cries about something going on in their life that they’re trying to get off their chest, at some point they are very likely to say “I’m sorry I’m crying,” and you immediately will respond along the lines of “There’s no need to apologize.” It’s the normal dynamic in that situation. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on either side of it, and every time I can remember, I can also remember the sense of space between the crying and the one aware of the crying. It’s how I always knew it was perfectly okay in that moment no matter what my experience was.
Similarly, I had been setup with a blind date and immediately my thoughts were off and running: “What if I don’t find her attractive? What if she doesn’t find me attractive? What should I wear? How should I end the date? What are we going to talk about?” I’m sure you can imagine the constant barrage of questions bubbling up in the cauldron of my mind. I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience.
But again, I realized right away that it was just the dynamic of thoughts. I knew that my mind was trying to find a way to “know” what’s going to happen because that’s what the mind does. I knew that my date would be thinking the exact same things. I was aware that they were just thoughts and that is how the mind works. Once again however, with the awareness comes space and the understanding that I am not my thoughts and feelings. With awareness, came peace and in that peace I was able to let the chatter go. That doesn’t mean the thoughts didn’t come back, but just that they held no power. The clouds passing by have no effect on the sky. Without the attachment to the thoughts I was free to know the most important thing to know, that I don’t know anything nor do I need to. That everything is now and shall be, exactly the way it is supposed to be and everything is absolutely perfect.
You can probably imagine the burden that is released when you know you don’t have to know. The freedom that comes from not trying to control life or to figure it out, but rather allowing life to unfold on it’s terms.
It’s even more beautiful to live it.
It wasn’t until I began the journey of awakening that I realized just how amazing this simple gift of awareness is. In that small, subtle gap between your thoughts and feelings, and awareness of them lies the key to this lasting peace. It doesn’t mean you don’t have the thoughts or feelings, but it allows you to see them for what they are and more importantly, not identify with them. It is the peace found in realizing that the thoughts are what you experience, not what you are. It is the peace found in putting down the burden of belief in the person, and allowing trust in life.