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You Won’t Get Out of This.

There are so many scary, sad, and upsetting things that happen.

At least if you’re paying attention.

And I’m not talking only about terrorist attacks, mass shootings, hurricanes, tsunamis, and so forth.

I’m talking about the stuff that is inevitable. The stuff that is lurking in the shadows of our minds, reminding us in whispers that we too will die, we too will endure pain, we too will lose people we love.

But the news events – the terrorist attacks, mass shootings, etc. – are like salt in the wound. It reminds us of the things we’ve tried to shove under the rug, so to speak. We try to cover them over with achievements and vacations and objects…

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…and with spirituality.

Spirituality is what we hope will help us…on OUR terms.

I sure did, at least.

“If only I meditate enough or inquire enough or pray enough or chant enough or think enough positive thoughts…then I’ll transcend the fear and pain.”

This kind of attitude is rooted in the same kind of perception that generates the “problem” in the first place, though. It is not the solution. It is more of the same.

This is trying to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.

It’s doomed. And it’s a rejection of what is. It’s insane.

What about this instead: Pause. Take a time out. Release the tension in the head. The tension in the gut. Not perfectly. Not according to how you think you need to.

Just do it. Just let it go, including letting go of the insistence that letting go must look and feel like something other than this experience right now.

Just try it out. Instead of using spirituality as a way to grip ever more tightly, let go of being spiritual.

Recognize the ugliness, the aloneness, the terror, the discomfort that you are. Stop trying to get rid of it or distance yourself from it.

Just for a moment.

You’ll tense up again momentarily. That’s fine. This isn’t about trying to achieve a state.

Just see. See what you do. See the innocence of it. See the purity of it.

It’s already pure. Even the tensing. Even the rejection. Even the horror.

 

joeylott

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