“Seeking doesn’t end by finding. Seeking just ends. It ends when our awareness comes to rest in the peaceful depths of our essential nature.” – Frank Ostaseski
The greatest gift I am going to give myself in 2018 is this, the end of seeking and the beginning of allowing. As I’ve ventured further and further into Frank Ostaseski’s book, The Five Invitations, I am struck by the shift in perspective he is contributing to my soul. I have always defined myself as a constant seeker…in the pursuit for greater depths, greater understanding, greater greater. What I never realized is that this constant seeking is a walking away from what is. It has also created a deep restlessness within myself. What I have never realized is that the more I seek, the further away I become of being at home within myself, and God’s presence within me. This is because I am constantly looking elsewhere, to others, and other spaces for answers, rather than resting in God’s presence within the walls and fabric of my own heart, my own story.
Pema Chödrön writes, “The problem is that the desire to change yourself is fundamentally a form of aggression toward yourself.” Wow how true this is once you play it through to it’s ultimate end. The constant striving for some greater knowledge or experience so that you can discover some truth in order to change yourself only causes a furthering from discovering who we already are. I am only just now realizing this aggression toward myself as a result of my continuous seeking for change rather than a more loving movement of acceptance.
It’s crazy, as I’ve started to explore how this shift from seeking to accepting will play itself out I become anxious. Anxious because I don’t want to sit still, and perhaps I don’t want to sit still because I am afraid of what I may learn about myself or about God. Of course these are irrational fears, as I know that whoever and whatever I discover about myself comes from the ultimate love of Love itself, however, that doesn’t stop my false self from screaming illusions of fear to my mind. I also think the anxiousness comes from the habitual pattern of constant motion and I’m afraid of the slowing down and what may come up as a result.
“We do not need to go out and find love; rather, we need to be still and let love discover us.” – John O’Donohue
Letting love discover us. Such a foreign concept for our fast paced Western culture and simply our condition as humans. Afterall surely we need to DO something in order to find love or to earn love from someone else, especially God. If only I gave more money to the poor, or spent more time serving others, or prayed more, God would love me more and I would therefore feel more accepted and loved. How false this narrative is, and yet I am guilty of this as well. What would happen if I stopped seeking to have greater value from myself, from others and from God, and instead shifted that constant motion of seeking into a slowing down stillness where I let love discover me?
One of the ways I am going to DO something in an attempt to BE is that I am going to commit to the process of unpacking all of this. There has been much motion, running, and seeking these past 15 years of my life. Now I am going to slow down and start listening, an experiment that I will also be opening up and living out loud. This blog will begin the process where I live this journey in hopes that it may speak to those in my community and if nothing else helps me, as my good friend Greg Garrett says, “crystalize your thoughts” through the process of writing the journey.