(ORIGINAL PUBLISH DATE: August 14th through my newsletter)
It’s an early, bright morning here in Los Angeles. The 7am sun has cast long shadows over the roof next door – the shadows of palm leaves and round rooftop satellites.
As I reflect on this week, I am reminded of a plant medicine experience I once had.
The medicine showed me that reality isn’t one thing. Reality has a billion faces, each twisting and turning, opening and closing, refracting and reflecting each other.
The mind wants to claim one face, that’s it! That’s the one true face, that’s ‘reality’! There, I’m done seeking.
But this is not the way that life dances.
And life is full of, engorged with, surprises… if you can pause in that moment of hopelessness, that moment of fear, the moment that holds you at the brink of the unknown.
Just when you think all was lost…..
Wait. Hold on a little longer without running away…
Out of the fog, a new door opens!
And not just any door. It’s of those $20k two-story-high doors in the Beverly Hills houses. (Seriously, I think they’re having a large-door contest in Beverly Hills – or maybe harboring giants?)
The door has opened to a new part of yourself. The door has opened to a new potential in the situation you thought you were stuck in – the situation you thought would never change.
The essential idea that I’m trying to get to came while I was on a brisk walk the other day. As I strode past a tumble of fuchsia flowers, it struck me.
Real freedom needs no escape.
Real freedom is a vastness inside you that says, I can bear this.
BTW I’m not talking about staying in an external situation that’s abusive or dangerous. Flight/flee/escape is one of your very best survival instincts. A beautiful response when you feel physically in danger.
The zebra flees from the lion. The lizard races away from the jackal. The seal swims as fast as it can from the great white.
Here I’m talking about the voices in your own mind. I’m talking about feeling defeated. I’m talking about that choke of desperation to run and hide because you can’t handle the feelings that you’ve blamed the outer world for “making” you feel.
Real freedom doesn’t shy away from the truth of your inner world.
Real freedom is a vastness within, large enough to contain all of it. Large enough to find your voice and speak truthfully.
As such, real freedom needs no escape.
It waits with curiosity, facing the fog, feeling the feels.
I know something will give. Something will change.
If you find yourself fleeing from feelings/thoughts/situations that don’t physically threaten your health, consider the possibility that a greater vastness within is possible.
That you can become big enough to contain the tremors…
Just one more moment… and another…
Ah, there, the fog lifts, the door is creaking open. Reality has changed its face again. That threat has turned to dust.
You now realize that you contain this, it does not contain you.
What once loomed, now fits into the palm of your hand.
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