The Paradox

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We go through hell searching for God-the Ultimate Truth.  We scavenge through churches, synagogues, study halls, temples, and mosques.  We travel abroad, leaning on walls, meditating on mountains, and ceaselessly praying in chapels.  We are relentless in encountering The Infinite.  Yet, every sincere man knows God eludes him.  Not because He isn’t there, but because in the final analysis God dwells in the last place man cares to search- within himself.  

Waking Up

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All things fall apart.  And all things can fall into place.  It all changes when we wake up, when we recognize our reality is happening to us and that this reality must be lived out responsibly.  “It’s a game, a joke, a role” we may say, but the game (life) continues.  Our happiness is not determined by manipulating the order of the game, our happiness is determined by our level of awareness and harmony we align with its laws.  Your role in the game may be one of success or one of lack, but spite of that, your existence validates you are an essential player.  You have been welcomed into the game with a key role to play.  Your awareness of this fact helps you strategize and play the game more effectively.  A realization dawns on us:  the game is ours and everything in it is happening for us.  Reality- the game- is much sweeter when we have finally awakened to it.  

Your Purpose in 2 Minutes

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Most of depression stems from a lack of identity.  We all have the need to identify with something in order to fulfill a sense of purpose.  The problem is that we never fully grasp what that purpose is.. we have many messages telling us that we can become anything and that there is a purpose for every individual on earth.. yet, rare is any instruction or knowledge directing us on how to get there.   I look around and see many driven and motivated people going to school or working a respectable job but there’s something missing… there’s still a seeking, there’s still that void and in one way or another they are asking the question “what is my purpose?”  

The reason why we don’t see that purpose actualizing is because we have our interest in too many areas taking up too much time, too much energy, too much effort. This leaves us scattered knowing a little bit of everything yet takes us away from connecting and identifying with our life’s work-our true purpose.  Having too many interests is a good sign of motivation  but it leaves us in a state of purposelessness and it takes away the needed resources to place on that one thing we could master.  When you place all your time and effort into learning and applying a craft, it will become a part of you.  Overtime you show your life’s work in how you carry yourself, in your thoughts, actions, speech, and overall surroundings- in everything and the people you attract.  When this begins to happen you will know you are living with a purpose. 

So my suggestion is to choose and follow one passion and with your time, effort, and resources, attempt to master it, allow it to become a part of your life.  Allow this process to permeate and change you from the inside out.  Over time your question of “what is my purpose” will be answered with a sense of fulfillment and peace.  

 

Beast

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It’s good to get away often.  It quiets the voices that tell us we are small and limited.  I have discovered in moments of isolation, after the pangs of loneliness had subsided, long after I was written off as done for, that within me was a poised and powerful giant capable of rising, flourishing, and transforming the world.  

Digging Deep When There’s Nothing Left

C13823A4-5CF1-4C5A-AA1F-A1D8636E434DI woke up to a voice unlike any other- a voice with much authority and clarity, one that I could not pretend was an imagination, or a whim, or an echo emanating from a quote from the latest self-help bestseller.  This voice resided in desolate and absconded territory, a place long empty, yet filled with pain and an ambience that could break even the most hardened soul.  And there I stood, listening to the voice “Dig….Dig.”  And so I did with no shovel, hands muddied and bloodied digging through filth, hardness, and nothingness.  Minutes passed, hours passed, days, weeks, months, and years, and…nothing.  Yet, the voice grew louder and clearer, “Keep digging.”  I stood there crying, skinny, beaten, sleepless, disheveled- fighting the voice, telling it that there was nothing there.  Nonetheless, it continued “keep digging!”  And so I did.  And from a distance I could see recognizable figures staring at the unrecognizable fragments of the man they once knew.  Gasps, silence, disgust, some look away.  Some dare to ask “what are you looking for?”  And tears roll down and I start feeling like a blend between the two protagonists from Beautiful Mind and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  “I don’t know what” I say.  Just then, a pastor I haven’t seen in years stands in front of a building with sincerity telling me to come here.  But I went there for years and found nothing as clear as this voice and so I continue to dig.  The doors of the building shut and fade away and an old childhood friend stands in its place, holding a bottle and a bag of cocaine.  He whispers “this will quiet the voices and kill all the pain.”  But I remember being dead inside and needing more just to get by… and so I, keep digging and the skin on my hands break and so does my heart as my old friend fades away, away from the voice.  Many others come along but I keep digging.  I dig through the pleas of beautiful women, money, careers, and almost oblige to the persuasive tactics of Appeasing Others.  But the voice grew louder and I dig.  I dig and dig until there’s nothing left of me.  And then, from the same distance the pastor and my friend stood, my family cries out, my son yells “Come daddy.”  I take a step towards them but the voice intensifies, gripping my soul into an understanding that if I don’t keep digging I will lose everything, I will lose them.  Humiliated and greatly discouraged I dig with the little strength and sanity that remains.  “There’s nothing left” I say to the voice as I stare into what is now the hollowed depths of my being.  Cries, pain, mistakes, past hang ups, traumas, guilt, and heartbreak escape the void and I stand like the miner who has discovered the finest diamond on earth… I can finally see the great voice, clothed in infinite Love living within me.  

What great pains and erroneous paths most of us take to find love!  I have found that G_d in His infinite wisdom chose the finest abode in a place we’d often overlook…within us.  Please, keep digging!  

Heaven Now: The Power to Perceive

70EA0849-1DB1-435E-970E-071FC398B8F3“Initially, the worst thing we thought that could happen to us was that we were addicts and could not manage our own lives, needing a program of recovery.  And as time passed we learned the best thing that could have happened to us:  That we were addicts and could not manage our own lives, needing a program of recovery.”  -Anonymous

The best stance to ever take on any matter is that we really do not know.  I have found that the most challenging circumstances, the events that would have surely taken me under once and for good, to have been the most beneficial in becoming more effective in helping others.  The measure by which we are either empowered or crushed by our circumstances is reliant not on the events that transpire but our perceptions of these events.    One thing to always be mindful of is that our lives are multidimensional and guided by infinite love and wisdom.  So we can always be assured that every situation we encounter is moving us in the direction of understanding and encompassing this love and wisdom.  The determinant factor in joy and despair is contingent on our willingness to go deeper.  As a well known AA speaker used to say “ Heaven is a pair of new glasses.”  

Fear

E6C03FF1-565A-412E-8B80-7F89AE282F5BFear is the symptom we experience when we have deviated from G_d’s plan.  Every challenge we face is perfectly orchestrated. We are also inherently wired to overcome our challenges either through toiling or surrender.  Our hopes to conquer fear should not rest on illusory methods to temporarily relieve worry posed by men.  Rather, our eyes should be set on the Designer of life Who has meticulously etched out every second of our lives to fulfill an individualized objective.  A man who can say “G_d is in control” in the midst of his problems is likened to one who has conquered the world.  

Shine

AD2CD71E-D566-4ABE-878A-D6721EF45C0FMan was created to shine brighter than the sun.  With a great capacity to generate power from within and illuminate the world surrounding it, man, like the sun, has been granted the ability to give light to those around him.  In turn, he is free to flourish and grow from the abundant light granted to him by those he encounters daily.   

Leaving Egypt

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The way to experiencing life on a much deeper level has nothing to do with acquiring information or status.  The way to a profound existence is embarking on the internal odyssey to conquer the things that enslave us.  When schools and society equip our children with the tools to refine their minds and eradicate the troubles within, I say the world is headed in the right direction.  

Obtaining Joy the Right Way

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In battle, a soldier who is severely wounded is given morphine for the sedation of pain.  One would hardly think this to be a remedy to his affliction as negating essential medical care would most likely be fatal.  However, we can say the administering of an opium is a temporary means to provide a relief of suffering.  In the same sense I wonder, have we become a nation of “wounded soldiers” begging for the quick relief of “morphine”and opting out of the critical internal process that ultimately preserves us?  Our own experience can attest that using pleasure as an ends in itself is destructive.  While using pleasure as a means to bring us closer to spiritual matters is not only beneficial but necessary to sustaining the spiritual life within a person.  For example someone may involve themselves in a relationship in order to fill a spiritual void or that person may choose to involve themselves with someone as an opportunity to commit to selflessness and authentic love- acts that bring him or her closer to knowing G_d.  One thing to always keep in mind when dealing with pleasure and pain is that we can never remedy our inner pain with external “things.”  This illusion, the “once I have all my ducks in a row then I can be happy” approach, seems to be the cause of many compulsive pleasure seeking behaviors.  Sadly, many times than not, it also becomes a barrier to the ultimate reality that happiness is sought, obtained, and preserved on the spiritual plane.

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