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News - Final Word
Monday, 23 June 2014 21:22
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You know those enchanting tales where a fairy godmother suddenly appears and you are granted three wishes? What would you wish for? And say that you are granted the chance to ask her three important questions about your life, what would you ask?

I think we’re often so invested in hearing certain answers that we don’t even want to ask the real questions. We ask: ‘Should I take this job?’ where the real question actually is: ‘How can I find fulfilment in expressing who I am?’ We ask: ‘Is this relationship going to work out?’ whereas we actually want to know how to find lifelong, authentic happiness.

Then why don’t we ask that? Why do we settle for the painless one-word answers? Yep, what you want is heading your way. Or nope, this one’s not going to last. Maybe we want the short, slick answers because it’s way too scary to go shining a torch where no light has ever fallen.

You see, the thing is that getting answers about who you truly are will change you. “Self-knowledge is like lost innocence,” said Michael J Sandel. “However unsettling you find it, it can never be unthought or unknown.”

Michael is an American political philosopher and a professor at Harvard University. He is perhaps best known for his critique of philosopher John Rawls' assumption of the veil of ignorance, which he claims allows us to become "unencumbered selves".

Don’t worry, girlfriend, I know you don’t want to read my rehash of Michael’s critique. What we’re interested in here is what happens when this veil of ignorance is lifted. It sort of estranges us from the familiar, not by supplying new information but by provoking a new way of seeing. “But, and here’s the risk, once the familiar turns strange, it’s never quite the same again,” Michael said.

You will find that the life you planned when you had a limited idea of who you were no longer fits. And sometimes the only thing you will know for sure is that nothing fits anymore. The sad part is that you’ll probably know this without knowing what to do about it.

Eckhart Tolle has some great advice here. The trick is not to think. “If you really want to know your mind, the body will always give you a truthful reflection, so look at the emotion, or rather feel it in your body. If there is an apparent conflict between them, the thought will be the lie, the emotion will be the truth.”

So, maybe searching for the truth deep within is as simple as allowing yourself to feel the truth your body already knows. Somehow we think that this search is personal and that our personal path has no connection to other people. But it does. It has. In a myriad ways.

“Whenever people come into our lives, they have come for a reason, to show us something about ourselves that we have not been able to see,” writes Madisyn Taylor.

“When unhealthy people try to hook us into their patterns with mind games and power trips, we can remind ourselves that we have something to learn here and that a part of us is calling out for healing. This takes the focus off the troubling individual and puts it back on us, giving us the opportunity to change the situation from the inside out.”

While you’re looking forward and making your own way with the focus on yourself, you often hone in on those who have walked the path ahead of you. Teri Uktena calls them “those who have cleared the way so that we can achieve our dreams just a little bit easier. They carry a light that illuminates our way, like a beacon in the darkness . . . guiding us to safe harbour.”

“What we rarely notice is what is behind us. As we are walking, intent on our choices . . . and where we’re headed, we don’t hear the footsteps behind us.”

Teri says we don’t realise that we are becoming radiant. At some point along the way we become the light for those who are following, in their own way, on their paths, feeling their way just as we have.
You were meant to shine, girlfriend. As only you can. Don’t deprive us of your light.

 

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