more language of letting go for December
Say how sweet it is
Many of us have been seeking diligently for the meaning of life, at least for the meaning of our lives. I thought I had found it when I began recovering from chemical dependency. Aha, I thought. The meaning of life is to stay sober. Then along came codependency and my need to recover from those issues. Surely, the search for enkightenment would culminate there.
No, not yet.
It was as if there was a big locked metal door. On one side of it was supreme knowledge of why we're here, that elusive "thing" called enlightenment. I was on the other side of the door, locked out, searching for the key.
Over the years, I've been to therapists, doctors, and healers. I've used homeopathy, kinesiology, acupuncture, and acupressure. In my youth, I tired alcohol and drugs, thinking they were the answer. I looked for the answer to the meaning of life in relationships. Then I searched for enlightenment by avoiding commitment and romantic love at any cost. I've tried Gestalt therapy, transactional analysis, hypnotherapy, prayer, and meditation,too. Over the past twenty-seven years, I've actively participated in more than one Twelve Step program in this quest for truth.
I've dutifully plodded through the grinding work so many people have come to know as family of origin work. Hooray, I finally found and healed my inner child. I even have a fuzzy teddy bear on the floor next to my bed. After my son died, I stayed with every moment of my grief until I worked through it by finally accepting the lifetime handicap that I would live in spite of the loss of Shane.
I've perused A Course in Miracles, learning with Marianne Williamson's help about the magic of love in all its myriad shapes and forms. At last, I opened my heart. But the search for enlightenment eluded me. I wasn't depressed, but my spirit ached.
I started traveling, first around the United States and then around the world. I visited the vortexes of Sedona, the ancient Anasazi village in Chaco Canyon, and the Santuarior de Chimayo, the blessed New Mexican church. I should have been glowing in the dark. Occasionally, I glimpsed the Light. But I still didn't understand what life was all about. Maybe tomorrow I'll find that key, I'd think. It seemed as if enlightenment was always one day, one step, one therapist, one book, one healer away. Over twenty years ago, when I was already well immersed in this quest, a trusted friend told me that the secret to life was simple: there wasn't one. Maybe my friend was right. Maybe I was looking for something that didn't exist.
One day, I stopped looking. It wasn't that I gave up. I gave in. I stopped waiting to win the spiritual lottery. Stopped trying to become enlightened. Stopped looking for that perfect soul mate. And started surrendering to and enjoying each moment of my life-- just as it is.
That's when I found joy. Or maybe joy found me.
The key to enlightenment might be simpler than we think. We're here to experience joy. Look at each moment in your life and learn to say, How sweet it is.
God, help me learn joy