Don’t worry about detaching yourself from things. Don’t worry about liberating yourself. The more you try, the more you’ll feel attached. All that is fruitless. There is a faster way and it works.
Get honest with yourself. Earnestly commit yourself to your honesty. As you get honest, you will learn, you will understand. Understanding will do whatever needs to be done, because when you know better you do better. If your understanding is at level 1, you cannot expect level 10 results.
It’s not about age or formal education either. Understanding depends on only understanding. There are a lot of educated elites who are completely idiots. There are a lot of illiterates who are wise sages.
Knowledge of self will teach you not only about yourself but every other person. Your heart will teach you about other’s hearts. Most importantly, self study will raise you emotionally and vibrationally. Whatever your parenting left behind you can raise.
You won’t need to depend on someone else. Your security will be within you. Where it should be. It won’t change according to your social, financial, or marital status. You will be a steady human being.
That’s real self-confidence. It’s not dependent on how others see you. It’s not even dependent on how you see yourself. It’s not dependent on anything that can change. It is regardless of anything. It’s unwavering because it’s independent of all, even the self.
When I was around 14 years of age, my destiny came to me. It was inscribed on a bookmark, tucked inside a book, wrapped as my birthday gift, and shipped from India all the way to Canada by a childhood friend. It read,
“Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.” By Richard Bach
I can still go back to the moment when I read those words in my dimly lit bedroom. I felt like I had fallen into a deep slumber for some years and this was an alarm waking me up. Something about those words felt so familiar, as if I had shipped them to myself in another lifetime.
After this, everyday, I started asking myself if I was being truly honest with myself. Every time I got lost, this one quote helped me find my way. It helped me grow in ways no other question could. And, because of this quote, I started collecting other quotes that rang true to me, like clues leading me back to myself.
So, it is because of this quote, I gained a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet someone like no other, the self.
Did you know that earth’s population reached 1 billion in 200,000 years? That was in 1804. After that, within 200 years it reached 7 billion. Today, it is approximately 7.6 billion. Most of this population is running towards the basic things: money, success, respect, love, marriage, and kids. That’s more than 7 billion people running towards the same things. Regardless of who achieves more or less, we are all racing towards the only one possible outcome– a black hole of death, never to be seen again.
Soooo, one day, I stopped. I stopped running. I stopped walking with the crowd. I watched everyone pass me by. I thought that if 7 billion people are doing the same task, why not divert one of the earthlings to explore life from a different angle? After all, regardless of how high I climbed the success ladder, I’d meet the same outcome as everyone else. What did I have to lose?
Opting out of this race wasn’t easy. I had to constantly remind myself that I was no longer a competitor. So, what made sense for others was not going to make sense for me. My opinions on any subject were never the popular ones. I had to accept being the awkward kid in the corner at every party. I wasn’t bored, because I was at the center of a million conversations, all in my head.
This simple diversion from the path well-trodden made my outlook on life very different. On so many occasions I wished I could be like everyone else. But just like you can’t erase things once you’ve seen them, it was too late. I just had to stop comparing myself to anyone and keep walking in the opposite direction, albeit looking like a fool. Terrified, excited, and alone, I started working on my first self-assignment– undoing myself.
I don’t know. Many years ago, this was the phrase on my phone wallpaper and I’ll never forget why. I had been dealing with a highly stressful situation for months. One day, I stumbled upon what someone had crafted as a funny phone wallpaper. It stopped me dead in my tracks. As I read the words, I realized that these were the three words behind my anxiety. Reading them was calming me down. So, I put it up as my phone wallpaper. Every time I read the words, “I don’t know,” I would whisper to myself “…and that’s okay!”
Known and Unknown, everything that happens, happens in the middle of these two realities. It’s the delicate moment balancing on the crest of our exhale and inhale. Known is the past, and unknown is the future.
Out of our primal fear of survival, we try to minimize “the unknown” in the unknown. Yet, the future remains unknown. Our idea of safety remains just that, an idea. In reality, no one can predict what the next second of our lives brings to us.
Letting go of our “idea of safety” to embrace the “truth of the unknown” can feel uncomfortable. But, this is a necessary step that we must lovingly usher ourselves into. After all, the road to truth is paved with nothing but…the truth.
Some ancient scriptures say that “a conscience” gains human form only after going through 8.4 million life cycles (as other species). Imagine if our journey to get here was that long. Imagine the significance of our lives.
The significance of being a human was what yogis set out to find some 15,000 years ago. What they found was so fascinating that they began writing out a trail for others to follow. They called the map they drew, yoga, a merger with reality. Through years of changing hands of interpreters, the scriptures lost accuracy. As yoga traveled through time and cultures, it lost its spiritual significance. Stripped to its bare bones, yoga turned into a form of an exercise or stretch. But yoga is not just the physical movement of our bodies into different postures. It is much much more than that.
Yoga was written by people who could see that form was not actually solid. They had realized that everything on earth was vibrating at different frequencies. They weren’t only understanding science, they were experiencing it. They became conscious of themselves “being conscious”. While becoming conscious of ourselves made us more concerned about our conquests and social image, they went beyond this drama orchestrated by the mind. Something about what they learned inspired them to share their treasures with everyone.
If we set out on the same quest for truth about life today, we will find some amazing similarities between our own realizations and this map called yoga. What is most paramount on this journey is our commitment to truth. Truth must be the goal, value, and compass. An absolute commitment to learning the truth helps us not fall into psychological traps that lead us away from truth. This level of commitment to truth is only possible when life “as we know it” begins to fall apart and we are forced to look deeper.