I want to freely admit the title of this post makes the subject seem much easier than it is. I will be up front, being is the ultimate goal many have yet to reach. Others don’t understand the difference between trying to live your life a certain way, to exemplify exactly what one believes their life and actions are supposed to be, to actually living their truth in every moment. I by no means have it down, but I’m getting closer and the great thing is, after so much struggle in recent months, I finally feel ready to take on the real challenge–just being.
So I spent a long time not being myself. It was so important for me to have others around I decided to be a chameleon; shaping my actions, words, mannerisms and beliefs around those I was trying to attract. This was universal from friends and family, to potential life partners. I do however remember moments of feeling like myself, laughing a lot; not thinking but just being. I recall the fun, the joy in the room and those situations being some of my best, but I never kept up being myself. With all the joy and fun, the connections with those in each situation I was building; with all that I still couldn’t see how staying myself and being true would yield the friendship and love I craved. These actions of moving away from myself brought me a lifetime of pain, not knowing who I was, who my friends were, and if I would find joy in a intimate and loving partner.
I’ve painted the picture and I can confidently say many have fallen into this cycle of life. Many people just want to exist quietly, able to make ends meet, have a little fun at dinners and on trips, have just enough friends, and live unremarkably remarkable. The truth is everyone can but if you haven’t up until deciding to do so, expect a tremendous amount of change and struggle until the real you and path for your life becomes your life. If you haven’t lived true and begin to there is the real possibility of losing friends, maybe having to change careers, moving to a new city, and relationship break ups. The simple fact is, your life that wasn’t the life you wanted and were meant to have in your spirit and soul gave you things that weren’t in line with your path. If you decide to embrace your truth then those in the previous truth of your life might not fit the real and new you. This reality tends to be what stops most when they realize there is a better, more truthful and fulfilling way to be that fits them more than their current life ever has. The loss just to gain seems too much, causing many to accept what is as what should be. I for one just can’t anymore.
If you are on my Facebook and Twitter you see more post about Buddhism, yoga, equal rights for women, gays and other minority groups that are in need of protection and respect for just being. You will find inspirational (I hope) messages and Memes, and of course my personal ups and downs with my path. Last week I was feeling a weight. I felt something was coming, like the hairs on my arm were standing up just before a lightning storm. I knew it was coming but decided to continue my week not overly concerned about my intuition, but allowed it to stay close to front of mind so I could spot the moment I needed. I woke up this morning, read a few articles of Tricycle, and just felt the switch turn on. The article was on whether Buddhist should smoke ( I will be writing about this in the coming weeks), and just the conversation and ideas got me thinking about choice and what is “Right”.
“Right” bothers me as a word. I use it in my speech because I don’t have the tools just yet to convey everything as I want, but what I do know about “right” is it doesn’t pertain to everyone in the same way. I mention this because being “right” boils down to your experiences and knowledge base. In being your true self, it might appear “wrong” by your previous experiences and the way you currently live your life. I feel if things aren’t great, then something can be done to make it so. Only each person knows what is working for their lives, and change while difficult could be the answer for so many. I feel like many took the universal “right” way to live out of fear and insecurity, but also out of a comfortability that being an individual and different can obscure. But how comfortable is a lie?
I confess I feel I have been trying for a little while to be Buddhist. I know many suttas, I know the Four Noble Truths, I know the Noble Eightfold paths, and I study and meditate. I am doing what is seen to be part of a Buddhist path, but not so much that it interferes too much with my comfortable lifestyle (click here). I have been afraid of being Buddhist, and let me say, not anyone else idea or version of Buddhist but my own. It for sure started as fear of being Buddhist like H.H. the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist leaders I admire.I looked at my past and my current cravings as impossible to overcome to be at that level. Then I battled against being at that level, feeling I would just go far enough I could be calm, somewhat enlightened, and then continue the social gatherings I sometimes like to indulge in. I just haven’t been ready to be. I don’t even really know what being myself with my experiences, knowledge, thirst for more knowledge, and my Buddhist practice will look like. I’m fearful but the switch was turned on this morning. It’s time to find out what my truth and my path actually looks like.
Time to find out if it really is a snake.