Seek and ye shall find
While most of us would probably say that we live a typical life, with its normal ups and downs, we all have likely faced dark moments that seemed to have imprisoned us for a time. And while our own history shows us that those times and situations were impermanent and passed, at those times they felt as though they were eternal. And at those darkest times, we all tend to seek light, a glimmer of hope and joy, amidst the sorrow or fear that we are facing. Yet in the darkest of times there often seems to be none, not a glimmer of hope, not a prayer being answered. Those feelings of despair quickly become overwhelming and uncontrollable. And, like falling down the rabbit hole, we seem to go deeper and deeper, going from bad to worse.
In observing the human nature of this, I see that there is an option which is often overlooked. And this is the power of self-love, the gift of goodwill and kindness that the human spirit possesses. But a power that we easily forget is available to the self. Just think for a moment about how easily you can extend your loving-kindness and compassion to a small child who has fallen and hurt themselves. Or how about when you visit an animal shelter, and see the frightened and sad eyes of so many dogs and cats who yearn only to be loved and have a home. You can probably think of so many examples of when your heart is touched and you feel an abundance of love and compassion toward another being. And see also that it is always on tap at a moments notice. Now just ask yourself why you are not deserving of this very same, deep, love and care.
The darkness that any of us feel is only due to a lack of goodwill for ourselves. Leaving an emptiness that we then label as fear, sadness, loneliness or despair. When the truth, in fact, is that these are all stories we have created in our minds which inhibit us from being comforted by our very best friend… the self. Unconditional love, kindness and generosity that allows us to simply be present and accepting. No desire to control anyone or any situation, but a joyful understanding that this life is exactly as it should be. And that which we perceive as darkness is merely our lack of understanding, a lack of wisdom.
We each have an opportunity to develop wisdom, and cultivate loving kindness and acceptance toward ourselves every day. And meditation is an ideal place to plant these seeds. With practice, all of us can begin to live and breathe a meditative-like life with every waking moment. It need not exist only on the cushion. And with a gentle determination, skillfulness and wisdom grow so that we soon come to realize that the light is all around us. The darkness was simply an illusion and one that we brought about ourselves.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.