Only when you are lost in Life can you find yourself!
Snatches from three conversations that we had yesterday come to my mind as I sit down to write this blogpost. A couple we know is building a new house. They find the burden of having to get the relevant approvals from the local civic body “nightmarish” – “Sometimes, when we pause and reflect, this trip to own a house seems so pointless!” A friend feels lost having been ‘dumped’ by his wife and having to literally “re-boot” his Life – “I don’t know what to do, where to start!” And a top manager at a large organization, whose husband is a very successful businessman, says she’s “trapped” in a job that she “hates” – “I am just biting my lips and enduring this suffering because I have no choice.”
Each of these people, like so many, many, millions out there, is trying to make sense of Life in their own unique ways. Nobody has any answers to Life. Life itself offers no explanations, no justifications, no reasons, no meanings. It just spews out experience after experience!
Now, the experiences of the people we spoke with yesterday appear to pale in significance when you consider stories of families who have lost a dear one or are raising special children or have someone who is dealing with a terminal illness situation. But no one’s story is ever less significant. The truth is, it is indeed Life’s inscrutability as experienced by you, it is your personal journey, that shapes your view of Life.
During my mouna (daily silence periods) sessions, in the early stages of our bankruptcy (that we are still enduring; read more here Fall Like A Rose Petal ), I struggled a lot. I was asking a lot of questions of Life – why, why me, why me now, what is the Purpose of my Life, why should all my talent and integrity be subject to such an intense ordeal by fire, why is God absent while this whole drama is playing out, and what is the meaning of all this? Quite obviously, I got no answers. But over days and weeks and months of mouna, I realized that the best way to live Life is to stop looking for answers or for meaning in Life.
I remembered Osho, the Master, teach this: “Meaning is a human invention. There is no meaning to Life itself, it is beyond meaning. One simply lives, for no other reason; one lives for Life’s sake. Then Life is not a means to something else, it is beautiful as it is. In fact, it simply is. Look at it, Life is full of poetry. What meaning does a rose flower have? What is the meaning of a night full of stars? What is the meaning of all that you are surrounded by? There is no meaning in any of all this.” And the Buddha’s teachings added this: “The inner emptiness is so beautiful, don’t stuff it with junk, leave it as it is.”
When I meditated on these perspectives during my mouna sessions, I discovered that living out of my emptiness, asking nothing from Life, living moment to moment for no other reason, just enjoying being alive, is what intelligent living is about. Intelligent living, I realized, was not applying my intelligence to my Life, but to love and celebrate the intelligence of Life, of creation, itself. Osho helped me along futher: “It is more than what you can ask for! What more meaning do you need? Is breathing not enough? Is the chirping of the birds not enough? Is the green and the red and the gold of the trees not enough? Is this vast existence with all its splendor not enough? Do you still want some meaning?”
I read these teachings over and over again. That’s how I discovered that your Life’s journey is uniquely designed for you to find yourself. Only when you lose yourself can you find who you really are and what you are here, on this planet, for. This lifetime is actually a minefield where you get blown to smithereens by a landmine that you have stepped on, because of the choices you have made, only so that you can gather yourself again and find yourself to be stronger, happier and more content than ever before.
So, every time you feel lost, empty, beaten and defeated in Life, celebrate. Because extraordinary pain is not a sign of your past sins catching up or Life conspiring to fix you. It is a sign of extraordinary grace pulsing through your Life.
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