I approach this blank screen as I currently approach my life.
In 46 years one acquires a lot of labels, a lot of expectations, assumptions, false possessions if you will. From a young age we are saturated with culture, family, friends, school, work, media, and our own self imposed ideas of who we should be.
I’m not certain if it is the case for everyone, but it has become apparent and very real for me, that none of these things are who I am. I do not own or control anything previously mentioned. At the core of my truth, I don’t even know and cannot decipher what, if any of the past 46 years is a true representation of who I am or what I believed to be real.
In scripture and other spiritual books it is taught that our afflictions are for our good and can be our greatest teacher. It is taught that we must surrender, turn over, or let go of anything we attach ourselves to. It is taught that our experiences will shape and mold us and ultimately teach us the very lessons we came here to learn.
It is my experience that at some point in this intensely hot furnace of refinement and schooling, there will be an un-raveling…a place where everything you once “knew”, thought, or believed comes into question, a place where you realize that you ultimately do not own or control anything. For years I have fought this ferociously, this letting go. As every single thing in my life has either been taken from me, distanced from me or brought into question as to how long it will last, I believe my reaction to hold onto these things or ideas, in fear, is a normal human reaction. After several years of this continual pattern of my life un-raveling, slipping through my fingers, as what I “knew” to be true or real has proved to be an illusion, I have been brought to this blank screen in more ways than one. The question I continue to ask myself is “who am I?”
When you turn inward and ask yourself what will fill this blank screen, I find myself starting with the most basic and fundamental questions. When I remove my spouse, my children, my jobs, my past, my culture… from my story, as well as the labels I have imposed on myself… who am I?
There have been many experiences in my life that have caused me to question myself and my ability to feel truth in my body. I’ve always believed myself to be intuitive and wise to what goes on in the world around me. It is humbling and causes me to feel very, very small as I begin to realize that I don’t know crap. Essentially, as far as I am concerned, very little of what we look around and see as “our life”, is real, tangible, or is in our control, which has helped me to understand that all I truly have or am guaranteed, is this very moment. In this moment I have my body and my breath. Breath seems to be abundant, but there will come a moment when there will not be another breath, and in that moment the reality will be, you don’t even have your body. All that will be left is who YOU are.
Clearly this business of finding out who we are is extremely important. Perhaps un-raveling is the first step to building a solid foundation.
As I have pondered and asked myself these difficult questions I have come up with the following list. I write it down so that I don’t forget. (I have a tendency to do that)
I know God lives. Whatever you want to call it…. A higher power, the Divine, Deity, Heavenly Father… He definitely lives. How do I know this? Not from a book or from someone telling me so. I know this from my own experiences. I know this because I have witnessed one too many miracles or “coincidences” for there to be any other solution. There have been too many doors open, too many people placed in my path, too many green lights when I’ve needed them most. I believe that God is a masterful orchestrator and that there is an incredible symphony going on amidst us…. Some see it, and some don’t. Regardless, God lives and He is in charge.
I believe in the power of prayer. I can’t say I’ve had every prayer answered, and I certainly haven’t had every prayer answered the way I would have liked for it to be answered, but I have experienced, first hand, hundreds of prayers answered in miraculous ways. Ways I never would have dreamed up, but that ended up being a beautiful story.
I believe we’ve all lived before and will live again. I know there are angels among us. I know that there are fellow travelers on the other side of the ‘oh so thin’ veil, that are helping us without being seen. I believe we were aware of our journey here and exactly how hard it would be. I believe we were so excited to get a body that we were willing to do anything to get one. (which is so interesting considering how many of us choose to disassociate from our bodies and live in our heads… we were willing to go through any amount of hurt, sorrow and sadness to gain a body but when we got one most of us decided it was too hard to feel emotion or to stay present, and therefore we seek any means of checking out we can find) I believe that one day we will all look back and understand every part of our life and be able to make sense of it
In addition to being sent here to gain a body, I believe we were sent here to learn…. exactly what it is that we, as individuals need to learn, to find our true potential and to fulfill the measure of our creation. Somehow as humans we have come up with the idea that life should be easy and fun… one great big party… but how would we learn? What would be the point? Isn’t it true that through adversity and opposition is where we learn our greatest lessons?
I believe deep inside each of us, all we really want is to be loved. The most important lesson we will learn in this life is that we are worthy of love, we are enough, that we are very loveable, and that we are capable of loving others.
I believe the key to happiness lies in this moment. When we truly grasp the concept of being present, feeling, and that each moment is a gift, we will begin to learn true happiness. All we have is this moment. The past is gone and the really great thing for me, is that the future doesn’t have to look at all like the past. I get to choose what my future looks like by living each moment authentically and to its fullest.
I believe in my Savior, the literal Son of God. I believe Jesus was not just a great man… I believe he was willing to come to earth, live a perfect life, miraculously survive feeling every single thing each of us will ever feel, and dying, a pure and perfect sacrificial lamb, so that I can live again, so that I can be comforted in my afflictions, and so that I can have help in forgiving others and in being forgiven.
So I guess the answer to my question for today is that I am a child of God. I am part of the Divine. I am connected to everyone on this planet and even those who live before and after me. I am prayerful. I am an eternal being. I am a student and a teacher. I am enough, worthy of love, and am capable of loving. I understand the importance of staying present in each moment and feeling every emotion fully, as that is how we learn, and I have a Lord and Redeemer who loves me and who is eager to comfort me if I will learn of Him and seek to live as He does.
As for anyone else… I don’t know what their truth is… but this is mine.