Sometimes we live a life where we just react to circumstances. A reaction is when you are in the back seat and your emotions are driving the car, or alternatively and possibly more dangerous is when our subconscious is driving and you feel nothing at all. The latter is where I was for a long time, and I almost lost everything because of it.
When I was living in Louisiana I was so disconnected from the world around me. I had some really cool experiences with my mentor, Tony, and thinking that those experiences, with all their power, meant that I was some kind of enlightened person. This is very much like when Dan met Socrates in “The Peaceful Warrior” and had the crazy experience of flying through the universe and becoming one with it when Soc touched his temples. When Dan came to, he solemnly declared “Ok I guess its time for me to go” and began to sulk dejectedly leaving the gas station. Socrates laughs and implores him to stay knowing that Dan has just begin to dip his toes in. (If you all have not read “A Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman, I highly recommend that you do.) I had no idea that I had not integrated the truth that Tony had given me, so of course the fact that I was feeling all this disconnection and pain must mean that it’s the rest of the world that is incapable of love and connection; not me.
This subconscious belief nearly cost me everything I loved. All because of my own self-righteousness I broke the trust of the family I was staying with and did drugs in their home. Fair warning for those who trust psychedelics to be their main medium of spiriutal exploration: if you are not prepared, you will be torn to pieces. When I ingested the drugs I took for, “spiritual reasons” I was so disconnected from my own body and feelings, I completely separated my mind and body. I began dreaming while awake. It was a nightmare. I had no choice over my actions and I was shown disturbing images and scenes that made me feel sick and uncomfortable, and to this day I am still recovering from them. However, it was those same traumatizing images that allowed me to see the truth.
I broke down the symbolism of each dream and as I did the reality began to come to light. All this time I had believed that everyone else was the problem but really it was me who was afraid to connect with other people. If I opened my heart and connected with them, I would be vulnerable. To be vulnerable would mean taking the risk to be hurt again. This was something my subconscious mind wouldnt allow me to see after my mother abandoned me as a child and the abuse I experienced in my past. Once I saw this, I began the painful but beautiful process of shedding away all the things that did not serve me any longer. I faced some of my darkest fears, the moments as a child where I would tip toe around the house, afraid to let anyone know I was there. I felt like I was nothing but a burden. I was so scared as a child I wouldn’t even feel safe asking for a glass of water at friend’s places, or even getting something for myself in my own home. I was a ghost who lived to steal the life force of others.
After I faced it, I began to heal. I started to living at my girlfriends place back in CT, which until my massive realization would have never been possible. "Your parents are judgemental, they think I am brain washing you and I don’t want to live with those kind of people.” Oh, how wrong I was. From the day that I began to leave Lousiana, to the day after we arrived, I cried. Nearly every moment was crying or a grieving silence over what was happening. My subconscious knew, an entire way of life was dying, and I would have to face the things I had been avoiding all along.
It took months, but after settling in and experiencing life with her family, I grew to love being there and to love them. I even started to love things like holidays, which I had detested since I was an adolescent, and board-games. I loved the feeling of connecting in simple ways, I loved feeling like I belonged. I had been wrong about her parents, whether they had truly believed I brainwashed their daughter or not didn’t matter, because their actions showed me that something far more important was true. In their own unique way, they loved me. So much so that when my girlfriend and I had broken up and we decided it be best to live apart, her parents gave me supplies for my new house like towel and sheets. They made a basket of little things that they thought I would need on the venture to live on my own. I was so thankful, and still am for the way the showed me love.
Action is where you are driving the car and feeling is in the passenger seat. What is “feeling”? I mean inspiration. This inspired feeling doesn’t always make you feel good either. Actually, it can be quite the opposite. Action can bring you right out of your comfort-zone and into your authentic truth. Before I left for Lousiana I had cried when looking at my friends before I left to catch my plane. This moment was significant to me because not even a few years before, one of the same people standing in front of me, my best friend and brother Joshua left Connecticut and I didn’t spill a single tear. “Its ok bro, we will see each other soon," he said as he hugged me goodbye. I was confused and almost annoyed by this display of affection, and now I stood all my bags surrounding me outside New Orleans airport crying like an infant child. The truth was there all along, I was just too afraid to see it.
Being authentic and taking action might mean you might disturb some people’s worlds with the information that comes from you, or the world will destroy yours instead. THIS IS GOOD. No one deserves to live in cognitive dissonance. When you "act", your life is a work of art. Provocative and powerful. I am not saying to cross people intentionally, however there may come points in your life where you are cutting across the norm, the beliefs that we have been fed that people cling desperately too for a sense of validation and control of their lives. I have been given truth sandwiches and I have dealt them out, and I am thankful for the opportunity to deal them and eat them. They change lives.
If your actions challenge a person’s idea of “good” or “evil” or other labels, and if they react with emotional violence, then maybe those views are no longer serving them or they may need to see life in a new light. SO SHINE! Shine on! You are a beacon of your truth like no one else can be!
Blind belief is a tool that does not serve us well, at least not for long. I implore you to open up feel for the truth instead. Do not believe others ,or yourself. Not even me! Listen deeply, be vulnerable if you need to, and feel for the truth. You will be surprised the places that you find truth. Some of my ex-girlfriends most cutting words were the ones that helped me the most. Same with my mentor Tony. I have been chopped to pieces before and when I allowed myself to rebuild, I was all the better for it.
So are you fighting with your boyfriend and going around in circles? Listen to this. Cross with your family and cannot understand why? Listen to this. These tools allow you to not take things personally and allow you to listen to understand, and not to merely react. This is the wisdom I have found and I have come to rather like it.
If you are ready to take action and face your fears, sign up for a Story Conseling session with me here