A little while back I took an interest in spirituality. And by that I don’t mean I started growing a beard, but just that I started reading some books on it. I tried taking to meditation, signing up for the latest buzzword for it – mindfulness. But I couldn’t even stay committed to the eight weeks of the course that it offered. Even when it was an online course that I could do in the comfort of my bedroom. And perhaps that was the problem, that the bed in the room with its cozy crimson colored pillows, was a bit too comfortable whenever I tried to sit straight on the floor in lotus position.
Now I come from India – where anyone from a little schoolgirl to a truck driver to a prostitute to a pot-bellied businessman has at least heard about the concepts of soul and a world beyond the seen. I remember praying in the temple for hours the day before my school year end grades were to be released, to try and turn the odds in my favor. But then I grew up and started trying to conquer the world. Teenage brought Ayn Rand and the likes to me. Everything was under my control. Hormones were going haywire. I was responsible for my own destiny and of many others around me. At one point I stopped believing in everything that I had grown up with, like my second nature.
And now, many years of wandering later, I see myself getting drawn towards it all. As a revered mentor remarked to me, we all take to this path sooner or later, externally. The journey within has been going on for ages anyway, only we are not aware of it. I have been living my life from one milestone to another in a state of stupor. Completely unaware. Flapping my arms vehemently all the time to push the water away – trying to swim through, but never float with the flow.
What is the opposite of love? The answer to this question is what I came across recently, as an example. I was, as everyone else is, born with an abundant, self-replenishing supply of love. That is our natural state to be in. A baby is oblivious to everything, and responds immediately to love. Without even realizing that the love is coming from someone known as his parent. Without constructing any barriers for it, the baby just lets the love flow in its natural form. I grew up and got attached to a million things – career, success, failure, relationships, house, money. I have been very attached to my pain and problems too, not letting them go, inflicting them on myself. I made a wall around me with all these external things and started confusing my true self with this wall. I forgot who I was and started thinking that I was this wall. What I didn’t realize is that despite being made up of a million things, this wall is so utterly fragile that it cracks at even a slight puff of wind.
Something that didn’t go according to my plan. A job I didn’t get. A colleague at work who said mean things to me. A spouse who didn’t act the way I expected him to. All of those put a dent in that wall, the dent that I loved to carry around with me in the form of anger, regret, guilt, hurt etc. Even the seemingly positive things – successes attained at school for instance, formed a dent of pride in that wall. Instead of completely sabotaging that wall around me, I kept on filling those dents with more things, more desires, more attachments, building it over and over again, blurring my vision of myself even more.
That wall, in other words is called the ego. The attachment with the question “what about me”, where that “me” is nothing but the projection of a conditioned mind, builds that wall. The wall that does not let you see your real self – which is nothing but love. The opposite of love then, a stark one at that too, is ego. They both can’t coexist. Lack of one gives rise to the other. Like darkness and light.
Getting rejected at that job was a brick in my wall, that should have been bulldozed by love and compassion for myself. The times that I argued with my husband just to prove my point right, I could have washed the ego wall away with a gush of love I always had for him. The times that I got worked up with my son’s tantrums, I could have let my love overpower and bring the gift of acceptance with it.
Why do we say fall in love? What falls in love? It is ego that falls in love. Gets smashed, shattered to pieces by the strong force that love is. Once you realize that, everything is so much fun. You don’t get affected by the highs and lows of life. You level them all and walk the path in bliss. Lighter and happier. Your Self gets separated from yourself.
It has become my favorite sport these days – smacking the hell out of that ego, bit by bit, moment by moment. Seeing love conquer every single time.
And I have only just started to take baby steps on this journey.
Pic courtesy : darticles.com