On my way to work this morning, this song by Michael McDermott, was jammin on my IPhone and it made me think of all of you. This beautiful song speaks to the reality that we all face at various times in our lives. The fear, doubt, insecurities that come up whenever we are about to take a new step. Most likely they arise way before you even take that new step; like when you think about the new step:) Yes a lot of us get paralyzed in even imagining a new path. What is it about change that makes staying the same so much more appealing? We know change is inevitable right? Those of us that live in New England get that on a deep level. The weather is anything but consistent here. It changes all the time and generally speaking can be pretty intense. So too is life. It becomes intense generally when you least expect it to. But how do you find a way to meet fear like a friend at the door rather than an enemy you would rather hide from? Hmmm those are some deep thoughts!
Pema Chodren, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher states “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to learn.” Our fears, insecurities or doubts about ourselves and the world are there for a reason. They are there to teach us about ourselves. The karma that we were born into this lifetime carrying is part of this life lesson. The lifetime we are all in is an opportunity for us to work through the karma or life lessons that have been leftover from previous lifetimes. This is why we can find ourselves repeating patterns with relationships, jobs or life in general. We continue to repeat these patterns until we become aware. That awareness brings to light that there may be something we are not taking a look at. Maybe you stay in a relationship despite knowing that it is not right for you but you are afraid to be by yourself. The patterns that do not work in that relationship do not change and the tension within you builds but you keep going. Your fear and anxiety shows up knocking at the door hoping you will answer and listen. But you act like you don’t hear. This relationship could be with a partner, friend, family member, or take the form of a job or a home. Whatever your patterns are, they are there as a teacher. When we ignore them or kick them to the curb they continue to show up time and time again until we listen. It’s not bad luck that makes that happen, it’s because we are not listening.
During my coaching program, I learned about the concept of gremlins. Your gremlin is that inner critic, the judgmental voice inside you that keeps you stuck. The gremlin can represent people in your life that may have been harsh or judgmental or maybe it was created in your own voice over time. Part of the work of healing our gremlins is to embrace them. Invite them in and try to understand what they are saying and why they are saying it. In my post You and Me with Tea: How Hungry are your ghosts?: we discussed the concept of the Hungry Ghosts. Hungry Ghosts are discussed in Buddhist teachings as the ghost inside you that is insatiable. We often try to feed the ghosts with food, sex, shopping, drugs, alcohol, sugar trying despretely to satiate it’s needs. But nothing seems to work over the long haul, right? The only thing that helps satisfy the hungry ghosts is listening. Hungry Ghosts and Gremlins are like very close cousins that were raised around each other. They talk the same language and that language is fear, sadness, loss and grief. If you listen, really closely, you will find that they really don’t want to tear you down but instead help build you back up. They are your friend, not your enemy. They are with you in this lifetime to help you transend your karma. But when we act like we have to fight them rather than love them, we are hopelessly lost in the abyss. They represent unresolved emotions within you. If you listen closely and allow the emotions to come up, they move through you to be released like the wind blowing dust away.
Just for today, embrace both your Gremlin and your Hungry Ghost like it was a smiling baby or a friendly dog. Give them a big juicy smooch today! Why? Because ultimately Love is a wall we must all climb in order to find happiness. We have to be able to climb the walls of fear and doubt to get over to the walls of faith and love. Freedom is a choice for all us of. It’s a choice that we all have the ability to choose. We have the key to unlock the jail cell of fear. The only thing that holds us back is ourselves:)
May you choose freedom today:)