Deep Doesn’t Mean Dark

What’s up with this notion of if it’s not dark it’s not deep?
Likewise, people seem to think the bright and happy stuff is automatically surface level.

I’ve noticed this in not only writers, performing artists, and theologians, but also my own friends and family. We don’t “go there” because it’s too dark. Or how can a cheerful dialogue be meaningful?

It’s true. A lot of times, when you dig deep, you’ll find some uncomfortable truths. And sometimes these truths are dark. But dark doesn’t mean deep or vice versa. In fact, if the truth you’ve arrived upon is dark, chances are you simply need to keep digging. Dig past the darkness until you once again arrive at light.

Just look at Dr. Suess as an example. He was one of the greatest artists of all time and he was deep. An average onlooker might mistake his work for being “fluffy” or “frivolous”, but if you look a bit closer, his messages are powerful and timeless. In order to arrive at them, I’m certain he had to wade through some dark waters. But unlike many great artists, he didn’t let the dark waters consume his work. He simply swam deeper.

I believe that all truths at their core are light. This is because at our core, we are light.

we-are-light

So next time you hear someone say that a piece of self expression isn’t meaningful because it’s not dark and/or deep enough… or if you have a friend or family member who never seems to want to “go there” because “why should we get dark”…. gently remind them that deep doesn’t always mean dark.

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Surrender (A Poem)

A milk has gone bad, throw it away.
Your tires are flat, switch them up.
No need to complain or make sense of these things
All that you’ve done is enough.

A lover has left, let them go free.
Wages were lost, look for more.
No need to dwell or make sense of these things
Resistance can be quite the bore.

Surrender to what is,
then do what you can.
There’s no need to ask,
“Why must this occur?”

For all that you need
is right where you stand.
And you can’t fathom Ways
that are higher than yours.

Stillness

I think I know why people are uncomfortable with stillness; being alone with the quiet of their mind.

What will my thoughts be? Will I be sad? Judgmental? Angry? Hateful? What if I am tormented by my racing mind? The inevitable underlying fear behind it all remains: Who am I?

But you are not your thoughts. Nor are you your feelings. If you can grasp this truth, you can learn to separate your self from your mind. The freedom that arises from this sort of separation will change your life. You will find that your thoughts are nothing to fear afterall. And more importantly, you will learn the healing power of stillness and the truth about how amazing you are, and have been all along.

There is No Cure for Hot and Cold

There is no cure for hot and cold.

There is no cure for the facts of life.

If we can stop trying to escape the inevitable alternation of pleasure and pain, we can simply relax and be fully present for the wonder that is our lives.

“At the bottom of her heart, however, she was waiting for something to happen. Like shipwrecked sailors, she turned despairing eyes upon the solitude of her life, seeking afar off some white sail in the mists of the horizon. She did not know what this chance would be, what wind would bring it her, towards what shore it would drive her, if it would be a shallop or a three-decker, laden with anguish or full of bliss to the portholes. But each morning, as she awoke, she hoped it would come that day…”

– Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

We Ought Not To Be Surprised…

eyes

Just as we can only see the world through our own eyes, so can we only recognize a person’s character traits, through our own (or lack thereof).

It is for this reason that we ought not to be surprised when someone we think we know well, fails to act in accordance with the character traits which we have attributed to them in the first place.

 

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Our True Self

soul

As opposed to the Ego which can be called our False Self. Our True Self is our soul. Once discovered, our True Self can serve as an incredible reference point that is both within us and beyond us. 

Our True Self knows that there is nowhere to go or get to, we are already at home. It doesn’t strive or reach, cling or grasp, it simply is.

If only we can find and embrace our soul, our True Self, we will stumble upon the utter freedom that has been around us and within us all along.

 

12 Things I Learned From My Dog

Self Improvement Sunday

12 Things I Learned From My Dog

 1. Be loyal.

2. People have to earn your trust.

3. Rest and play are important daily practices.

4. There is nothing quite as thrilling as the wind in your face.

5. Always run to greet your loved ones.

6. Be direct with others. Let them know if they’ve invaded your territory.

7. Become a master at forgiveness.

8. Find joy in the simplicity of a long walk.

9. When you’re happy, show it. Jump around. Wag your entire body.

10. It’s easy to be a good listener. Just be silent, sit close, and gently nuzzle the one who is talking.

11. If what you’re looking for is buried deep, keep digging until you find it.

12. Find the sunshine and rest in it.