Who am I to write this? I’m just a young adult who over the years has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and clinical depression, who after years of suffering, treatments, and spiritual pursuits, has found nuggets of truth worth sharing. Many of these ideas are realized with the help from Buddhist, Christian, and Spiritual teachings from the Buddha, Jesus, and contemporaries like Eckhart Tolle, Mingyur Rinpoche, and many others. However, I hope you’ll find these ideas to be basic, human truths accessible to all without external requirement.
There’s a simple idea which may require the suspension of your prior judgements and assumptions, and may require an understanding from your heart before an understanding from your mind. That is, when dealing with life and its many paradoxes, visceral heart and gut feeling is often more useful than logical and mind-based sense. In practice, notice when attempting to mentally understand a topic and continue with or without this understanding. Keep reading, keep acting, and focus instead on any sensations in your body which hint towards the heart’s understanding. It is our tendency to pause when our mind is confused or challenged, and many times this premature doubt from the mind is the terminal reason why we cannot or do not understand our heart. That said, let’s continue with our hearts open and our minds aware.
The simple idea I refer to is two-fold. First, all beings are the manifestation of love. Second, our outward search for love through control is the cause of all suffering.
Let’s test these assumptions. (Do not continue to the next numeral until you’ve thoroughly tested and believe its preceding. Testing may take you mere moments, hours, days, or lives. All possibilities are just and as intended.)
- You exist. Consider testing this by touching yourself, others, your environment, listening and witnessing the sounds of the world that arise within your experience, or waiting for your next thought, which are all experiences you have neither chosen nor created. Possibly the greatest test for your existence is observing your fear of death. Stand on the edge of a high-rise, or feel the ease of a lethal weapon in your hand. That nervous energy and vibration inside you is proof of your existence.
- All you need is love. Test this by defining your love. Hint: love is not understood by the mind, so don’t bother mentally defining it with words or logic. Feel it. Once you’ve felt your definition of love, ask yourself what’s missing.
- You are love. Refer to your heart’s definition of love. Did you require any external material thing or being to feel it? This differs, however, from the thought of external material things or beings, for the thought is not in fact externally dependent, but is entirely internal and created by you as a manifestation of you. Next, ask if your current environment can provide this same sensation of love, and trust no matter your environment of past or future, so long as you exist, you’ll always have an environment for which to fund this experience of love. Trust that love will always be there inside you, as you, independent of anything else.
These three tests are enough to liberate anyone from suffering. The paradox is the more you try to evade suffering and the more control you reign on your life, the more you will suffer. The ultimate key is to test, realize, and believe that you need nothing. For love is what we’re after, and we are love already.
Title Photo by Håkon Åreskjold