1. Truth: I can only know and do what is right for me. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the difference between sharing your truth as a “big T, capital T, universal Truth” (which so many religions, lifestyle influencers, teachers, gurus, coaches, etc. do) and “hey, this worked for me so I wanted to share in case it might make sense for you too, but don’t take my word for it, try it out for yourself.” The first one can be not just problematic but actually harmful, and yet right in line with how our culture works — weakening our trust in ourselves so we can be sold on a new process, program, product, or person. Even when I determine all I can know about what’s true for me, there are causes and conditions I can’t possibly know, so the most I can do is make my best guess about “truth” and even when I think I know, realizing I don’t and staying aware, open, and curious.
2. Truth: I’ve lost touch with my truth, my intuition. I’ve spent so many years trying to accommodate other, to follow the rules, to be “good” and in that way hopefully earn the right to joy and love, the right to be here, to exist and take up space. I not only looked outside myself to know what to do and how I should be, but I internalized those expectations so that now “the call is coming from inside the house.” It has clouded my judgment and all but severed my connection to my inner wisdom, and even when I sense it, I don’t always trust it. This is no way to live.
3. Truth: Clear the table and sit with the emptiness. I was telling Calyx yesterday how when I clean off my writing desk or a drawer or even a whole room, rather than organizing as I go, I have to take everything off/out, start with a clean slate. Another dear friend and I were talking the other day about how when you get so overwhelmed and confused and disconnected that you shut down, the thing to do is take all the “stuff” that has piled up on the table, all the junk and the dust and the undone, and sweep the surface clear, reset to nothing, and then sit with that emptiness. A similar practice is the Zen notion of “only don’t know.”
One wish: May you rest and find comfort in not knowing, and may wisdom arise from your trust in the emptiness and your own basic goodness. As the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Tilopa offered in his “Six Words of Advice”, a simple six word teaching that translates to:
Don’t recall: Let go of what has passed.
Don’t imagine: Let go of what may come.
Don’t think: Let go of what is happening now.
Don’t examine: Don’t try to figure anything out.
Don’t control: Don’t try to make anything happen.
Rest: Relax, right now, and rest.