There are many different types of experiences that people have and sometimes life looks a little bleak, a litter uncertain, a little difficult and you wonder will it be all right? You may become sad or worried or anxious. There are times when life is troubling. When you feel losses in your life and from those losses comes suffering, but those times in life are transitory. When life becomes difficult, you can think: “oh, what is wrong with me? I have somehow failed.” That “I’m not successful”” that “things are not going well” that “I’ve not achieved equanimity of mind. I’ve not become calm in the face of disaster. I’m disturbed. I’m upset. I’m depressed. I’m anxious. I’m angry” and so you feel bad about yourself, that somehow you’re not the epitome of equanimity and of success. But those difficult times in life are often the most meaningful times in your life; they provide you with an opportunity to go deeper.
If your life was always success and happiness and opportunity, and there was no struggle, you would live on the outside of life – superficial. Never understanding the depth and pain of other living beings, of other people and not understanding the depth of pain of others, the pain of loss, sorrow, illness, struggle. Not understanding the depth of pain of others, you become unable to manage those situations. But when you have your own struggle, your own difficulty, then it allows you to deepen, to gain empathy, to gain sympathy for the struggles of others -- the difficulties of others and in that you gain compassion, understanding of yourself and of others.
You begin to feel your connectedness in your humanity, in your human, genuine human struggles with the issues, problems and difficulties that life presents. In this there is a connection, a unity that you have with others, with life itself because life isn’t just all success and happiness and good times. Life is a mix. For all the difficulty you have, there is great joy. For all the joy and happiness and success you have in your life, there is struggle and pain and suffering. That suffering is your opportunity, your opportunity to go deeper. Many times it’s in the depths of struggle that people find their spiritual base, their spiritual depth because they realize they can’t do it alone. They realize there has to be something more, something greater than themselves.
They begin to find their connection, their humility and their connection to others. And when you’re in this struggle with yourself, learn to accept the shadowy parts of yourself: to accept your anger, to accept your sorrow, to accept your weaknesses, to accept your dependencies, your needs. Then you become able to accept those things in others, to be with the totality of the human experiences. And when you become able to be with the totality of the human experience you become able to love, truly, sincerely and deeply. You broaden, you deepen and then in being with your humanity, in loving yourself fully and totally -- all parts of yourself -- in being with the humanity of others, having compassion, having love and care and acceptance for the struggles and difficulties that face people, you become able to face yourself, face your humanity, be with yourself, love yourself, and love others.
Love isn’t a superficial experience you don’t just love someone because they’re attractive because they fulfill your needs. Love is a process of giving of caring, even when that giving and care is not returned to you. Deep love moves beyond the business relationship: “I will love you, if you love me, I will give my heart to you, if you give your heart to me. I will fulfill your needs, if you fulfill mine.” That is a very conditional love; true love moves beyond that into a realm of compassionate and care -- a realm where love is given freely, not because it’s deserved, not because there’s something to gain from it, but because it is a natural state of being. When you truly come to know yourself, even the shadowy and most unacceptable parts of yourself, and you begin to deeply love all aspects of your own being, then you grow in love and you begin to see that love is an unconditional experience, an experience of deep acceptance, deep understanding and compassion.
And that out of that acceptance and compassion comes transcendence. Spirituality is not some abstract experience; it is something that exists within the depths of your own being, the process which uplifts your spirit from suppression and self rejection to self acceptance. Unconditional love and care, as you grow in love, the magnanimity of the heart expands and then spirituality is understood. Love is a doorway to the soul, to the heart and through the heart to the light at the core of your being, to the center of your own existence and to the love you share with all beings -- in all forms, in all places and in all times. When you walk through the doorway of the heart you walk into the arms of love and there you meet the beloved. Within there the un-struck music is played.
There, lover and beloved dance a dance of eternal being, eternal love and meld into one. There, the difference between “I and thou” dissolves. There, the mind the heart surrender let go and love abides, is. There, you and the very source from which you have risen are one. You return home from whence you have come and the rest of life finds resolve. The pain, the loneliness, the sorrow are all doorways as love calls you home. It speaks to you to return to whence you have come, calls you away from the distractions, calls you home -- where you are loved unconditionally. That is your resting place, that is your home where you belong – oh, travelers in this world, remember.