I haven’t posted anything in a while, but I have written quite a bit. I have about six different drafts of random thoughts that sounded interesting in my head, but when I read them all I can think is, “Where the hell is this going?” I’ve had some doubts this past week. Doubts about anything from my life choices to what I should eat for dinner. There was this dialogue internally that questioned everything everyone said, anything that happened, or emotion that I felt. I have a lot of “new” going on in life: New surroundings, new people, new career opportunities. While all of these things are overwhelmingly positive developments that I am very grateful for, it leaves me at times feeling vulnerable and not entirely sure of who I am or what I’m doing.
I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing. Moments of doubt can be quite educational as long as we stay open and curious. Curiosity can turn, “OH DEAR GOD, I don’t know who I am?!” into “Hmm, I don’t know who I am.” All of these new experiences are showing me to myself. Who am I when my friends aren’t around? Who am I when people act differently than I think they should? Who am I when no one knows my past? Who am I when things don’t go exactly according to plan?
It sometimes is a peaceful, loving process, but sometimes it can be deeply confusing and overwhelming. Every doubt, fear, and obsession can be a gift to show you what you think you need. You think you need approval. You think you need more money. You think you need more time, friends, clothes, love, understanding, a better car, a nicer house, and a fancier iPhone. We may get these things, but all of them eventually get taken away if only for us to see our true selves: just a person who thinks they need something else to be what they already are.
I love what Buddhist monk Chogyam Trungpa says:
“Meditation is not a matter of trying to achieve ecstasy, spiritual bliss, or tranquility, nor is it attempting to become a better person. It is simply the creation of a space in which we are able to expose and undo our neurotic games, our self-deceptions, our hidden fears and hopes… meditation is a way of churning out the neuroses of mind and using them as part of our practice. Like manure, we do not throw our neuroses away, but we spread them on our garden; they become part of our richness.”