Today is Tuesday, January 28, 2014.
we are with so much wisdom and tenderness, and -- without even knowing it -- we
cover it over to protect ourselves from insecurities. Although we have the
potential to experience the freedom of a butterfly, we mysteriously prefer the
small and fearful cocoon of ego." – Pema Chodron
If offered a choice between freedom and security, which would you choose? Most people would like to have both, if they could, but the fact of the matter is that you can't really have both. You an only have one or the other, so most people end up choosing security.
The problem is that security is what the ego wants, not what Soul wants. That's because the ego feels fear, but Soul doesn't. There's nothing wrong with fear, and there's nothing wrong with ego, either. Both have their uses as tools for Soul's growth while in the physical world. Fear exists to alert us to danger. Ego exists to help us distinguish ourselves from others in the physical world. However, when we let ego drive the bus, instead of Soul, we are limited by the ego's fears, and its need for a cocoon of security.
Lately, I've been seeing a lot of quotes from people about not shying away from the things that frighten us or cause us pain. (That's because I need this message now. On the presumption that if I need to hear this message, someone else in the world most likely does, too, I'm sharing it today.) Rather than spending so much energy avoiding or running away from things we don't want to face, we should feel the fear and face the pain. Why? Because when we do this, we have the opportunity to transcend our fears and triumph over pain. This is the way we grow stronger. Once we have faced the fear or felt the pain, we no longer have to have that experience and we can move on.
Here's another piece of the puzzle. Eckhart Tolle wrote, "The ego says I shouldn't have to suffer, and that thought makes you suffer so much more. It is a distortion of the truth, which is always paradoxical. The truth is that you need to say yes to suffering before you can transcend it."
The more fearful we are, the more miserable we feel. The same goes for feeling resentful for having to "suffer." Pain is one thing, whether it's phyiscal pain or emotional pain. Both are real, and both hurt, but not forever. Suffering is a mindset that we cling to as a result of holding onto the pain and labeling it "bad." The truth is that nothing is truly "bad" or "good." It's all just experience, and it's for our growth and maturation as Soul. Nothing that ultimately causes us to grow spiritually can be labeled bad. Unpleasant, yes, even hellish. Frightening, yes, even terrifying. Sad, yes, perhaps even deeply depressing. But not bad. The resentment simply makes everything worse, because we are in a state of feeling sorry for ourselves, which puts us in victim mode.
We are here in this physical world to learn the courage to feel the fear and forge ahead in spite of our fear. We're here to learn the strength to withstand pain and anguish. We're here to gain strength and to learn to transcend our limitations. That's true freedom. :-)