Friday, January 25, 2013

for whom this is written

Dear You,

It's true that we don't know each other well, on the surface level, the details of each other's lives. But I do know your spirit, believe that. Sometimes you can just tell. Sometimes you can just read the words they've written or notice their favorite artists or by the clothes they wear or things they praise - and even though they're glimpses, little hints, they're enough to let you know that you know. And I really believe I know. And I believe that you know you know, as well. :-)

Since spirit is all that I can speak of, considering I don't know the details of your pain, I'll just share with you about my own. As spirits, if we really look, we can't help but understand each other. Because really it's all the same, isn't it? The flavors of misery, as well as ecstasy, are all different, but I'm pretty confident that they stem from our thoughts - we love it when Reality matches our story and we feel despair when it doesn't. I've come to see that whenever I'm suffering, in my mind I am telling myself, I am declaring to the Universe, that what is happening to me, the state of my current affairs is flat-out wrong, I don't like it, it's not fair, and it just shouldn't be so. And guess what! Reality just doesn't care. Reality, the way things are occurring right now in this present moment, always fails to ask my opinion. It does what It does. Isn't that strange?

Strange, mos def. But as I examine it more and more, I'm starting to see it as pretty damn amazing too. It takes a shift in perception and a willingness to view life from a different angle, but if you're open to examining the present moment, I think you'll find what I did: that we are so much safer and so much more well provided for than we think we are. Our hearts beat, our hair grows, the earth supports us. From moment to moment, we are shown where we are supposed to be, who we are supposed to be, and what we're supposed to be doing. There's no guesswork! There's nothing to figure out. It is revealed to us. Only a sassy, know-it-all mind would keep us from realizing this. It says, "No, no, it can't be that simple. I need to know what to DO. I need to know how to make things be the way I want them to be. It will be better if I get my way." Byron Katie, author of Loving What Is, has a saying, "Who needs God when you have your opinion?" And I love that because only the personality/mind-stream - a construct so narrow, rigid, and limited - would have the arrogance and naivete to say it knows what is best for it's measly pocket of the vast, unlimited Universe.

I know that you feel drained. I know that you feel scared. I know that you feel tired and are so desperately sick of fighting. I have felt those things too, countless times. I've tried to kill myself...more than once. I've been in mental hospitals. I know a thing or two about pain. I don't know your situation, but I know pain. And all the teachers that I've read, listened to, and been blessed by have all had the same basic invitation: to let the pain be there. And I promise you, that when I've had the courage and the presence of mind to accept that invitation, I am always instantly aware of Who I Really Am beyond the pain - and in the experience of Self - there is a knowing of peace. That doesn't make the pain go away. It's not a magical cure. But it allows for a shift in perception. It allows you to see that Who You Really Are is here, alive and well beyond the urge to fight. You asked how to stop fighting with life and that's what I would say to you: STOP fighting with life, literally. Sit still. Breathe. What I mean is, stop thinking you need to fight. Stop imagining that there is something you have to do. Stop thinking that you have to solve things, fix things, make the pain go away. No, befriend it. Welcome all of it. Every nasty situation, every nasty thought you think, every uncomfortable situation, let them be. Just notice them. As you would watch the rain fall. Without judging them. Without trying to trick yourself in to thinking something else, something nicer, something prettier. Be honest about it. Look that Miserable Bitch in the face, look her in the eyes, kiss her on the mouth. Offer her a smoke, have a drink, talk.

I want to share with you that I just can't see these problems I have, these concepts that I often believe, as being mine. I think they're just happenings. They're nothing for me to take credit for. They're nothing to be ashamed of. And because they're not mine, they're not something I need to fear. They're not something I need to chase away or do battle with. If you believe in the goodness and the friendliness of the Universe, and I know that you do, try and trust it more. Try and trust that something infinite and intelligent is in operation and that there is not one thing you experience that is not for your good. Imagine your worst nightmare. Bring to mind these things that cause your suffering. Are you open enough to question what the blessing in it could be? Are you open enough to consider that the things you believe to be miserable, unfair, disgusting and evil may in fact be goodness on the other side, that it's just the illusion of time that keeps what you'd prefer temporarily out of view?

What has been helpful for me is investigation of the mind. That's what I know to offer you. The invitation to routinely go inside yourself and look at your thoughts, to notice the effects you experience from believing your thoughts: the effects in your life, your behavior, your body, your relationships. Go inside and notice how fleeting they are, how insubstantial. Without your thoughts, who would you be? Where is the pain? Where is the struggle when you refuse to go chasing after your mind-stream? Who would you be if you refused to identify with who you think you are?

You might want to check out this website:

Byron Katie, and her Work, have been a blessing for me. And I trust that you'll get from it exactly what you need.

I know you're in pain right now and I can't alleviate it. I can't make it stop. I can only pray for you and behold you with love, respect, and the knowledge that Who You Really Are (and even who you think you are) is so eternally okay. I can only remind you that it's nothing but a passing storm. Go inside. A lot. When you ask, you're answered. In the Universe, in God - in other words, pure Oneness (which you're obviously a part of), how could it be otherwise?

And of course I'm gonna tell you to dance! Always, always dance!

One spirit to another,
I love you.


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