Since my last post, I’ve been listening to a lot of Sadhguru’s videos. While there are some aspects of his teachings that don’t resonate with me at this point in time, so much does. I’m understanding on the deepest levels that I feel what I allow myself to feel and experience what I allow myself to experience. This means I have far more power—aka responsibility—for my life than I previously cared to admit.
Now, of course, I’m overjoyed with this knowledge.
Years ago, I had a YouTube channel that I called OpenToLife. This was long before I started therapy. While some of my videos were about factual things, others were full of assumption and speculation. Lot’s of misguided wisdom even if it had some root in truth. I found myself caught up in new age beliefs.
Some of those beliefs included overcoming fear, which made perfect sense to me. Others involved ascension through overcoming that fear. But at the end of the day, I turned away from all those beliefs. Not because they were terrible to believe but because the more I’d dive into them the more I’d realize it was still breeding fear.
If you don’t achieve this, you won’t ascend and you’ll be trapped on this planet in this dimension for thousands of years…
The more I compared religious beliefs, the more I saw my own new age bullshit feeding the same ‘do this or suffer eternal damnation’ nonsense.
So I walked away from those beliefs.
This isn’t to say that I feel other dimensions, aliens, or other existences aren’t possible. I think they are. But that’s not the same as saying they are without a doubt. One is an idea, a possibility, the other a hard belief.
This goes for the ascension thing too. Sure I feel being a good person is healthy for the soul and all of humanity, but we are human and will mess up. The moment that happens, throwing ourselves into judgment and self-shaming chaos is only causing more harm.
It’s been years since I’ve revisited these beliefs. I’ve gotten so skeptical that I question everything. And I don’t feel that’s bad. If something can’t be questioned without consequence, then there’s a problem.
A BIG problem.
But after listening to Sadhguru, I’m seeing all of these old beliefs differently.
Part of the issue I’ve often run into is that humans try to put their spin on everything. I’m doing it now, not even trying to. Just doing it because it’s what I know. It’s all I know. But in putting my own spin on something, I’ve already tainted the thing I’m seeking to understand. I’ve limited it.
I began to see this a lot with old mentors and spiritual leaders I followed. When push came to shove, they didn’t like being questioned. They didn’t have answers. They’d return to the same mental shaming tactic that the church members used on me when I questioned why God created evil…
I was the doubting Thomas.
I realized that some of these people I thought were so wise were seriously missing the boat. They ‘sort of’ got the thing they claimed to be getting, but they were missing key parts and that made their teachings ineffective.
Then came science… I love science. Especially quantum physics. At some point, I saw that the closer we got to understanding quantum physics, the more science seemed to align with spirituality. But there was still a problem in that a lot of misinformation is spread through physicists being misquoted and their teachings spun to fit agendas.
So again, I left a lot of those studies as they were always circling back to our limited understandings as humans. And I’d long since tired of people telling me that their version of the thing was the right way, all others be damned.
Since I’ve come to the understanding that soul slavery is about allowing others to affect our internal peace and joy, I’ve been seeing all these other beliefs and ideas as being limited in the sense that they were all focused on the external. Not the internal.
Everything was about changing the surroundings. Not what’s inside.
Now some may say, “But no! You missed the point of all the meditations and practices!” And to that, I’d say, “No, I didn’t.” The teachings I’d followed were all about focusing on seeing what we wanted and to continue to think about it until we made it a reality. This is still focusing on the external. Wanting the promotion, or money, or a house, or to look thin and sexy, these are all external.
To focus on joy would’ve been internal, and that would have likely caused me to feel it because when we are focused on the internal, nothing external can affect it.
Since I decided that I was in charge of my joy and how I felt inside me, I’ve felt this level of transcendence that I was never able to feel during all my studies and practices. The difference is that now, I’m focused inside. Sure some of the teachings taught this, and the teachings at their core level were far purer. It was when people practicing and trying to guide others put their spin on things that teachings left the internal and went external. It was all about shifting that which was outside us rather than inside.
And this isn’t magic. It isn’t some sacred teaching. It’s being mentally healthy. It’s being emotionally healthy. It’s being at the higher functioning side of being human. This isn’t some belief people have to follow. It’s just a simple understanding that we are in charge of how we feel.
When we feel our world is out of control, or we’re feeling unheard, or we’re not happy because we’re working with people that are nasty and sabotaging us, this is all the external affecting our internal peace and joy.
But what if that didn’t need to happen?
What if we could look at the very person hurting us and smile, then walk away? How would that affect us differently if we simply said, “No, you’re not going to hurt me anymore.” Then stopped allowing the person to hurt us?
Part of what always got me is that I’ve suffered from depression for most of my life. Yet I’d meet terminal patients and they had a joy that I couldn’t find. They were suffering in a much more physical sort of way, and could have been (maybe even were) full of fear of dying, and yet so often I’d find people in that terminal state to be far happier than me.
Not all, some were bitter and angry. But so many terminal patients I’ve known have had a peace that I’ve longed for until now. And I can’t help but think it has to do with letting go.
When you’re dying, you don’t care what others think of you anymore. You don’t care about the kind of house you live in or how much money you made… You care about smelling the flowers in the garden. You care about feeling the sun on your face. You care about spending every waking moment in a place of joy because fuck it… you’re not going to be around much longer and why live in fear or full of hatred?
These people I know and knew had stopped allowing the external to determine the internal.
And we don’t have to be dying to reach this place.
I understand so much more now. I understand that letting go of the ego isn’t about letting go of the self like so many teachings claimed. Letting go of ego means letting go of judgment. It means embracing the internal self while rejecting the external’s control over the internal. Letting go of ‘self’ in the manner I was taught was just being a martyr and we really don’t need more martyrs.
Our internal matters.
I’m thinking about all those teachings I followed so long ago and I can’t help but think, how would those be different if everyone had focused on the internal wellbeing as opposed to trying to shift the external?
Even if people had taught the internal shifting and growth back then, I certainly wasn’t in a place to understand it. Which only backs up everything Sadhguru talks about in his videos in that we experience life from our limited perspective. So the more I’ve learned through therapy and healing and taking responsibility for my life, the more I’m able to understand what shifting the internal means.
I find it ironic that my old YouTube channel was called OpenToLife when I really had no idea what that meant. Now I do. Because I’m open to how I choose to experience life as it unfolds. I’m trying not to put judgment on everything and instead, just be open.
I think it was easy for me to put a magical spin on something so simple because I never thought it could be so simple.
We may not determine our lives externally but we certainly determine how we experience them.
For the first time, I can honestly claim that I am open to life… Open to experiencing joy, peace, and all the wonderful things that come with focusing on the internal self rather than what’s outside of me. Not a moment of joy that can be sucked away by a shitty circumstance or an abusive person, but an overall internal joy that doesn’t leave unless we desire it to.
I’m open to living and being joy.