Do many of us feel lost? Like we’ve not found our way home inside our skin? That we’re wayfarers on the planet, a bit off course, wandering, not sure how to encompass what we truly know ourselves to be?
Many of us seek, don’t we? We look to find ourselves hither and yon, through vale and mountain passes. We search and search and search to simply feel comfortable in ourselves, to relax, to heave a sigh of relief and know, “Yes, I’ve found myself. It’s OK. Finally.”
I spent most of this lifetime seeking. Looking for a way to ease the sense of inner incompletion. To do away with unhappiness. To be present. To love the moment. To not be filled with restless angst, To not continually run from myself into the next distraction, and the next, and the next.
My exterior personality decorated itself as mostly sunny, sure I’d find the Wizard of Oz, sure that the yellow brick road would lead home. Yet inside, I often stewed and brewed in a tornado of frustration and regret, pain and compulsion.
In 1987, a mystical experience opened me unto the Native American path, and led to years and years filled with the dream world dancing with physical reality. In 2003, I started to meditate and slowly learned to occupy this body, this earth. In 2008, on my birthday, finally opened briefly to “Home”, to a feeling of fulfillment, to those red shoes murmuring, “There’s no place like home…”
Then followed a roller coaster of incredible suffering and amazing revelation which continued for years. So often Ego ruled with an iron fist and wouldn’t let go. It felt like being given the Holy Grail and then watching the Wizard of Oz snatch it away. In the bowels of the psyche, Hell often reigned. One saw Home and yet it still felt far, far away. As far away as Oz and you couldn’t reach it except in your imagination.
Many spiritual teachers say you should “do nothing” to return to your home. May I politely disagree? I had to do a lot of not-doing over the years. Every day I still practice not-doing.
Not-doing, for me, involves looking boldly at the Ego’s brick facade and methodically turning attention again and again and again toward the illusion of self.
We must face our inner scarecrow, our inner tin min, our inner lion, our inner witch, our inner wild & crazy flying monkeys, our inner wizard. Our ego is constructed of dozens upon dozens of archetypes, of mini-personalities.
The key to returning Home is realizing that none of the archetypes are me.
I am not…anything which can be typed…anything which can be spoken.
I thought I was the doer, the thinker, the one who felt. I thought I was the one who wants, who decides, who acts, who plans, who remembers, who knows.
What I was–what Home was–proved much simpler than that. Home surrounds us, encompasses us, at all times.
What blessed relief!
We’ve all known Home, every last one of us, even those of us who never landed on Oz and inadvertently killed the Wicked West of the East.
How can we find Home? Only by following the yellow brick road which stretches before us. This road is different for every single person. My yellow brick road is not yours. Eckhart Tolle’s yellow brick road is not mine.
Is there such a thing as permanent enlightenment? I have no clue. There certainly is NOT a person who could get enlightened. Enlightenment is what surrounds us–IS us–at all times, even in our most personality-identified times.
All I know is that there is Home.
Home exists within us.
It’s a place composed of peace and love. It IS. It’s a place of no separation, no individual pitting itself against, say, your living room couch or the current president. It is Life itself unfolding, moving, experiencing itself.
It is a place where every feeling and thought is allowed to arise. That very allowing is unconditional love.
As I spend more and more time relaxing in this Home, my feet up on the coffee table of myself, what has shifted? What is necessary to stay here?
1) When I stay with pain–without telling a story about why–when pain is allowed to exist without attaching or pushing away–it’s possible to find the way Home.
2) When one learns to accept and allow all thoughts and feelings arising–without attaching or pushing away–then one begins to truly soften to all others in the world.
3) Home reveals itself as you begin to rest in not-knowing. Not-knowing what to do next. Not-knowing where life will turn next.
I don’t always live in this inner Home. There are still moments or days of identifying with a deep thought or feeling with relative unconsciousness.
What causes great joy is that the Great Search seems mostly finished. The Great Undoing may never be over. It continues every time an identification with ego or illusion arises.
Home exists and it’s beautiful beyond anything I could write, ever.
P.S. Do not get confused and think that “I” wrote this. Home could never attempt such folly. The spiritual writer archetype arose and shared before disappearing into the next moment.
P.S.S. You know you’ve reached Home when you throw the red shoes away. Or you plants nasturtiums in them.