I’ve been a seeker and a “wonderer” for as long as I can remember. When I was young, our family always lived in the country and I had a lot of autonomy. I would spend hours by myself, roaming the acres of our farms, doing nothing in particular except wondering. As a little girl, much of my wondering was about who else may have spent time in the very places I was spending time; a “who came before me?” kind of wondering.
The Seeker emerged in me in earnest when I realized that none of the things I had done thinking they would make me happy, or satisfy me once and for all had worked. Even after fashioning the life I had always wanted, I still felt immense hunger for something I couldn’t put my finger on.
I was drawn to everything “New Age”. I read any book that sounded like it might answer the ever present question “Why am I here?”. The only acceptable answer being one that stopped me from seeking. An answer that would provide a satisfaction so complete it would allow me to kick back, put my feet up on the coffee table of life and be content. Forever. An answer that would allow me to feel complete, joyous and assured that I was exactly where I was supposed to be, doing exactly what I was supposed to do.
That’s what we seekers want, right? The answer that will satisfy our eternal longing ~ with finality. That’s why we buy the books and watch the videos ~ because it seems like the authors and the speakers have it all figured out. They have discovered the secret to eternal contentment and they definitely have their shit together.
I found that answer.
But, it’s not what I expected. As it turns out, I was asking the wrong question. And as will sometimes happen, I was looking for an answer that wouldn’t bring me happiness even if I did find it.
If you’ve lived any length of time, you’ve realized that happiness isn’t a realistic goal. It is a shallow form of the joy we’re truly seeking. Contentment has more depth to it, but is a dangerous proposition if you linger too long in its embrace. Think of the quote “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” (Unknown)
The question I’ve been asking all this time has a simple answer.
Not an easy answer, but a simple one:
I’m here to be.
I’m here to show up as the most authentic version of myself; not the version that is always happy, looking amazing, knowing exactly where I’m headed in this life…
I’m here to embrace the entirety of it all; all the emotions, all the aspects of myself. Not just to accept that there will be sadness, anger, boredom, and dissatisfaction, along with the joy of my life ~ but to experience all of it as it comes and feel safe in it. To still ask questions large and small. And to never, never stop wondering. To really understand that the seeking never stops. And that the book writers and the speakers aren’t the solvers of all the problems. And no one’s life is “together” in the sense that they always know exactly what they’re doing.
As I relax a little more every day into authenticity, I am amazed at how much more satisfying my life is. As I become more willing to feel what I’m feeling instead of trying to figure out how not to feel it, the more good stuff comes through.
This morning when I woke up and felt the hint of dissatisfaction, frustration and the urge to withdraw ~ to hibernate, I realized that these feelings were accompanied by the urge to put pen to paper. To SHOW UP. Just as I’m feeling. To let myself crack open a little and watch what happens. Not to write something brilliant. Not to solve my problems, or yours. Just to write what’s real to me.
And it feels amazing. In all of its messy imperfection. That’s why I’m here; to keep showing up in my life. To choose every single day how to show up. Which questions to ask. And to watch with wonder at who shows up in my life.
It might seem like I just told you that there is no answer to the question “Why am I here?”.
But there is an answer and it’s closer than you might think. The sadness, or frustration, the intense need to be happier ~ these are not the things you need to overcome to be happy. They are the very things that hold the answers you seek. The very things you feel are standing between you and fulfillment, might just be the gateway to living a truly satisfying life.
The one thing you must give up is the notion that you’ll ever figure everything out; give up the idea that it’s even possible. Think of it like a scavenger hunt, not a treasure hunt. The treasure is spread out over the entire journey, not in one box hidden in a distant cave by an unkind universe.
If you need some help to find a balance between the sadness and the happy/content moments, reach out! Part of authenticity is asking for help. Sometimes we need a hand; someone to give us some professional advice and tips to get us moving in the right direction. Doctors, Counselors, Spiritual Leaders and Teachers of all kinds are great gifts to us. Utilize them when you need to. We can’t do everything on our own. Even something as simple as learning how to pay attention to what we’re feeling takes some guidance and practice. Remember ~ I said simple, not easy.
Choosing authenticity isn’t a one and done. It’s something we choose every day in a million different ways. The good news is; once we start choosing it, it gets easier and easier to choose.
The disclaimer here is… don’t use this advice to go out into the world and embrace being an ass to everyone in the name of authenticity. If you find yourself being an ass to everyone, there’s work to be done.
Also… I still read. A lot. And I watch the videos. There are some very smart people out there 🙂