Stop. Enough. – June 2 2020

Stop. Enough. – June 2 2020

Nothing has to be achieved in order to be at peace. All we have to do is stop doing – stop wanting things to be different, stop worrying, stop getting upset when things don’t go as we would wish, or when people don’t behave as we think they should. When we stop doing all the things that obscure the peace that is there at our core, we find that what we have been seeking all along is there, waiting silently for us.

Peter Russel,

From Science to God


About 18 years ago I stopped trying to fix myself. 


I felt for most of my life that I was broken, that something was terribly wrong with me that had to be healed or fixed or changed before I could be happy, before I could know peace and a life worth living. I can trace the brokenness to a trauma in my teens, a life-changing tragedy. From that moment on I felt, outside humanity, unworthy of life and unworthy of love. 


For more than thirty years I tried to fix myself, first by using any substance or behavior I could find to numb myself; and when that stopped working, reading through the spiritual libraries of the world, trying to get ‘better.’ Some things worked a little. Some worked a little more. Some worked not at all. I studied, I learned. Traveled to India. Visited priests and therapists, holy men and holy women. I changed, I grew. But still, there was a wound in me. A broken something deep inside that affected and underlay everything else in my life.


One day I found myself thinking, “Stop. Enough. This is it. This is your life. You’re done. If it hasn’t happened by now, it’s not going to happen. If it hasn’t changed by now, it will never change You’ve got about 70% of yourself back. That’s going to have to be enough. 70% is quite a bit. Be happy with that.” And so I quit. I quit trying to fix myself. I quit trying to get better.


About six weeks later I learned Vedic Meditation. From that moment I have been led every step of the way, becoming more and more what I’ve always wanted to be, which, it turns out, is simply awake, aware and present; happy, joyous and free; able to love and to be loved; and useful on the planet being exactly who and what I am. 


About a year after learning the meditation, I remembered the 70% conversation I’d had with myself. And I found it was no longer true. I was beyond 70%. I felt like I was moving beyond 100%. I no longer felt broken, and I could see that in truth I had never actually been broken. I had always been whole, but never been shown how to know that wholeness; how to know myself as that wholeness. Now someone had shown me, and I was able to own it for myself. 


We find this formula throughout the spiritual literature of the world–someone struggles and fights toward a goal, then finally gives up; and in the giving up, something happens. In the giving up, one suddenly can take one’s place in the world, can discover who and what one is, rather than trying so desperately to become something or someone else. In giving up, we allow ourselves to be led by something other than our ego. And the seemingly miraculous ensues.


There is nothing to achieve. There is nothing to be, other than what one is. There is nothing to become. We are what we are, as God made us. Beautiful beyond measure. When we find the way to actually feel this, we can begin to accept it. And accepting this truth of what we are, life can begin. This can happen today. It can happen in this moment. 


Today I will ask myself what is keeping me from accepting myself and my life exactly as I am. What part of me am I unwilling to accept? What would happen if I stopped trying to fix everything and just tried to get along with who I am? Is it possible to feel at peace, to know joy, to give of myself exactly as I am right now, today, in this moment? If there were a God, and God was all-loving, is there anything I am that this God would not, could not love? If the answer is ‘no,’ then who am I to say differently?

Ashley and Me and Friends, Kumbh Mela, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India