My connection with the Infinite Source of Love is and always has been enough. Love loves me always, everywhere. Assured in love, I am perfectly lovable and perfectly loving with all people in all situations.
Have you ever picked something up to put it away or use it, gotten distracted and put it down, then just a few minutes later forgotten where you put it? Have you ever lost your wallet or keys and retraced your steps trying to figure out where you left them? In the moments I have done things like this, I was thinking, “I just had it…what did I do with it?” Or, “This is something I use all the time, how could I have lost it?”
I find myself in similar situations when it comes to Love, my Inner Divine Self, or my connection with Source. “I know I had this, what did I do with it, where did it go? Where is the ease and flow of Love?”
It baffles me that I can forget in a few moments where I have placed something; it baffles me that I can have such clarity and strength in Divine Love, then something happens, or I sleep, or go to the store, and I don’t “have” it anymore. How does this happen!?
There have been periods of time in my life when I was simply clear and connected; every day I was solid. I look back on those times and wonder what I was doing, what I was thinking, how was I there? On every Journey so far, there have been days of clarity, of Knowing, of certainty, and assuredness. And on every Journey, there have been days of doubt, skepticism, or uncertainty.
Do spiritual leaders have days of doubt, skepticism, or uncertainty? Did Paramahansa Yogananda? Did Nicholas Cusanus? Does the Pope? Does His Holiness the Dalai Lama?
So often, we hear about elation, exaltation, joy, peace, stillness—the qualities that are so often associated with a divine experience, but rarely do people want to mention darkness, doubt, fear, lack of faith, turmoil.
Does God understand? I know he does (of course!), but this simple question gnaws at me sometimes…does God understand that my doubt and uncertainty have nothing to do with my love or my striving? That I, myself, do not understand my turmoil and that creates further doubt? Does He understand that I know these feelings are causing feelings of separation, of lovelessness, and that I understand those things are not His Will, but I don’t know how to fix it?
This is a bit of a leap, bear with me, but it made sense in an odd way: Hershel Greene, of AMC’s The Walking Dead, once said, “You walk outside, you risk your life. You take a drink of water, you risk your life. Nowadays you breathe and you risk your life. You don’t have a choice. The only thing you can choose is what you’re risking it for.” Somehow that fits, “You don’t have a choice. The only thing you can choose is what you’re risking it for.” We don’t always have a choice when the distractions come up, when we forget, when anger wells, when the frustration overwhelms, when the darkness creeps in. “The only thing you can choose is what you’re risking it for.” The nature of life is this ebb and flow, the risk of never exploring the darkness is never finding more light.
In Buddhist teachings, suffering is the human condition, the nature of life. Any one in a physical body goes through suffering—mental and emotional turmoil. This is known as the First Noble Truth; everyone suffers. Too often, this is where people remain. They don’t know they have a choice, that understanding suffering is the first step on the path to relieving suffering. “You don’t have a choice. The only thing you can choose is what you’re risking it for.”
When it comes up, do you go deeper into darkness, or do you use it to go deeper into answers, into awareness? Do you use it to question yourself, “What happened? How did I get here? How did I become lost in this?” And retrace your steps to find your Self again? Or do you remain in despair? What do you choose to use it for?
People don’t intentionally forget where they put something like keys or a wallet. People don’t intentionally forget their connection to Divine Source. Being human is about making the choice to remember; just like we can retrace our steps to find our keys, we can choose to use our human condition to remember better, to understand how we forgot in the first place, and choose different causes.