“At any moment you have a choice that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.”–Thich Nhat Hanh
I found this quote today on social media and decided to borrow it and post it on my own page. I could relate to it and knew right away what it meant. When things like that come to me, I try to take notice today. The idea behind this quote, once discovered, has always had a very strong impact on me. There are so many layers to it and when I get down and dirty with it, it is so simple.
Okay, so let me start here. We are born. Before that we die. And, before that we are born. Then, we die and it goes on and on. That’s what I believe anyways. In between those very intense experiences of birth and death, we are either living, as in walking around on this green Earth or we are reunited with this place that houses our souls while we are not in our human vessel, the body. I’m not quite sure of this place, but I believe it exists. Some part of me just hasn’t allowed me to remember it while I’m sitting here typing away. Intuitively, I know it’s there though. I feel like I can describe it, but choose not to because I don’t want to confuse things with any preconceived ideas I may have got from anywhere else. So, I don’t.
During our time up there in that hall of souls, we individually choose what sort of life we want to have, what lessons we have left to learn, and how these experiences will be presented to us. The goal is to walk through these, coming out the other side, not needing any do overs. One and done. For some reason, I have a strong feeling it’s not just the one though. So, we choose all this stuff, parents included and woosh, we arrive back on Earth. Thus, life then begins again.
It is now our turn to do quite a few things. First, we must learn how to manage ourselves physically. We need to get our needs met, get taken care of, learn how to walk and talk and eat and shit and piss. Some simple things that seem way beyond a spiritual being must be taken care of so that we can be on our way to that big stuff. However, they’re necessary for the Earth bound and because of that they’re generally done easily. After all that, the emotional and mental side of things begin to come into play. Now, it’s time to get funky.
Questions begin to come up. Answers are needed. The road starts to narrow and things start to get hairy. “What the hell is all this? Why am I here? Why is this happening? Is this all there really is? Help. I need help. Who am I?” etc. Slowly, we sort this shit out. Things begin to get put into files. For example, I like animals. I don’t like religion. Work isn’t so bad. People kinda suck. I want to be a lawyer when I grow up. I need all the drinks I can get. Most of these decisions end up changing one way or the other, but regardless, things start to make more sense. Our personality and life are developing on more of an individual level. We become who we are. Life, genetics, experiences, parents, friends, siblings, how and where and who we grew up with, they all begin to shape us.
Life seems to be propelling us into the unknown over and over again. Some of us glide right through it. We know who we are. We got this. We are obviously advanced souls. While the rest of us feel like we were shot out of Evel Knievel’s cannon towards the fucking Grand Canyon, with no clothes on, let alone a helmet and a net. Flailing around, trying to do the least amount of damage to ourselves and those around us, over and over again, we land in the bottom of that canyon. Hard. We hit so hard that it shatters and shakes our very being. It ruffles everything we thought we knew about ourselves and leaves us with only one thought, “That is definitely NOT me.”
Standing there, naked, stripped of our self, with that one idea, where do we go? This is where that quote from Thich Nhat Hanh comes in for me and saves the day. We go in the opposite direction. If I no longer want to live or feel the way I am, I need to move in the other direction. It seems easy, right? I don’t want to be walked over, I stop letting people walk over me. I don’t want to eat sugar, I stop eating sugar. I want to be more spiritual, I meditate or pray. You get what I’m trying to say here. Yet, for most of us, myself included, things don’t go as well as planned. I can’t just get from A to B. So, what to do, right?
I stay still at first. I just don’t do what I was doing. Does this make sense? For instance, I am sober now almost ten years. Getting sober and then, staying sober probably has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I knew that I had to quit drinking. I knew to quit drinking and doing drugs that all I had to do was just stop doing them. But, I couldn’t. When, one day, those thoughts turned into a moment and in that moment I was set free from the obsession and desire to stop. For one whole day, I was given to freedom to just not do anything. I didn’t have to drink and I didn’t have to not drink, so I did nothing. I just went about my day and stayed sober for one whole day. Is this making sense? I hope so.
My soul or spirit knew that what I was doing to myself was only harmful. I just couldn’t imagine a life with booze any longer or one without it. I was in this weird limbo that my soul and thinking had put me in. They say that thoughts become real and transform our world around us and this was an example of it. But, now what? I had no idea. So, I just froze. I knew if I was to drink, I would be walking away from what I truly desired. I knew if I didn’t drink, I would be walking towards what I wanted and needed. In that moment, being still was enough to walk towards that sobriety. In that choice, I became closer to being me in my truest form.
After that, things continued to pop up and I remembered a thought close to Thich Nhat Hanh, I’m either walking towards it or walking away from it. So, I kept practicing walking towards things. By practicing I mean I walked in a lot of different ways and sometimes in the absolute wrong direction, but I was always able to have that day of freedom that I had with booze.
Today, it’s a juice cleanse that I get to walk towards. So, I’m slowly doing that so that I can do a three day cleanse on March 19th with the New Moon in Pisces. I didn’t necessarily plan this out. My thinking got me to believe that it could be done and the Universe serendipitously provided the rest. I just have to keep my eyes open and with every thought and action, take those steps towards that juice cleanse. Those french fries, that soda, that grilled cheese are not going to bring me closer. However, I will continue to have the opportunity to do it again.
I was not just dropped onto this Earth to do nothing and be miserable. There are soul purposes for all of us. I feel like the more connected I am with myself, the more connected I am with you and the Universe and in that connection, there can be peace and harmony between us all. How amazing is that!?
So, let me ask you this? What are you trying to walk towards today????