Staying on the (New) Path

You can say you’re letting go and moving on, but one of the hardest things to let go of is that sense of identity. The new way of life is going to feel very unfamiliar. It really is like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly.

Sometimes it’s the pain that reminds us to stay on the new path. The old way is so obviously not wanted that we’re determined never to go back. Pain can be useful like that.

Of course, there comes a day when we realize that this is the path we’re supposed to be on, and no power on earth can keep us from it. I get glimpses of that feeling, like sunlight peeking through clouds. That’s when I see that this is a journey of the heart.



Resigning from Anxiety (and Worry)


We can call it giving up, retreating, or letting go, but maybe resigning is a more neutral term for withdrawing our energy from a futile endeavor. The anxiety and worry I’ve felt for as long as I’ve written this blog is like a fitfully sleeping dragon. The cycle of appeasement, in which I throw hapless victims into its hungry maw, is never ending.

Standing Our Ground

It is a process of letting go, of not trying to control the dragon of anxiety and worry. The dragon is obsessive, and the compulsion is to fight or flee. But what if we just stood our ground, and prove to ourselves (once and for all) that we won’t be burned by its flames?

Making the Unfamiliar Familiar

Anxiety and worry can become a habit, and habits can become our identity. The familiar way is to find the anxiety intolerable, while the unfamiliar is to be OK with it. So I don’t think anxiety and worry helps me, but I also don’t give it the power to hurt me, either.



Breaking Through (Language) Barriers

People like to define things. We like to differentiate, compare, and put up boundaries, and that’s not a bad thing. Language is a tool we use to define our world, yet each of us live in our own world, and although we use language as something to bring us together, it can also be a barrier to understanding. People use language as part of their identity. When I speak Laotian, I play a certain role, and when I speak English, I play another role. This can be limiting, unless we find a way to break through the barriers.

There’s another kind of language that we all speak, and that’s the language of vibration. When something resonates with us, or “strikes a chord”, we understand its meaning without words. This language is the most powerful of all, and it can break through barriers that block us from understanding each other. That’s how I meditate. I go within to where there are no words, only feelings, and I find the dwelling place of my True Self. The ego is the meeting place between “me and you”, and the Self is the meeting place between “you and You.”

I used to think I was a chaotic mess, but now I realize that I just have a lot of instruments in my personal orchestra. It can be fun and challenging to be the conductor of our life. Music is a universal language, and so are feelings. Thoughts are, too, before we dress them up in language. When we get to the heart of the matter, we can break through any barriers.


The Question

Who do you think you are?

Whenever we move towards progress and self-improvement, we may notice a voice inside of us asking, “Who do you think you are?”.

This voice is called many things; self-doubt, the inner critic, resistance, fear.

Where does this voice come from? Who gave it to you? Did you always have it? Does it serve a purpose?

Maybe you were taught to ask yourself this question while growing up. The adults around you may have been asking themselves the question.

Who do you think you are?

What do you think you’re doing?

Who do they think they are?

Notice what kind of emotions the question evokes in you.

Has someone does something you didn’t like, and in self-righteous indignation you ask yourself, “Who do they think they are!”.

This same indignation can be used against yourself as you dare to move towards your dreams.

Who do I think I am?!

Who’s asking the question?

Maybe it’s ego.

Maybe it’s fear.

I often notice the question within myself, “Who do I think I am?”.

I meditate on the question. I don’t need to answer the question, because I know who I am.

I wonder about the thought process behind the question; the fear, guilt, and shame that fuels self-doubt.

I used to spend much time and energy attempting to answer the question. I wanted to build insurmountable self-confidence and self-esteem in order to stave off the self-doubt.

I was chasing smoke. The question is an illusion, a phantom.

It’s a trick question.

Do you need someone to tell you who you are? What you can do?

Being ignored can generate the question. You want attention, but no one cares.

Oh well, who do you think you are, anyway?

Do you want to climb the mountain to greatness?

Then you better be able to answer the question.

Who do you think you are?

Truth Seekers Unite

Lanterns by David H-W (Extrajection), on Flickr

Seeking the truth is a lonely path, so I appreciate being able to connect with other seekers. I didn’t always know I was a truth seeker, but I’ve always had the inherent traits; curiosity, creativity, intuition, courage, spirit. While the adults were busy going to their thankless jobs, spending their money on parties and possessions, all under the guise of “we’re grown-ups so we must know what we’re doing”, I watched and wondered.

The lost and confused

I wondered why these so-called adults seemed lost and confused. I wondered why adults were so obedient to authority. I wondered why  they were so fearful. As a kid, I was naturally curious and afraid of everything. Adults would attempt to teach me the rules of life, but even then I felt something was missing.

I don’t want it to sound like I’m a people-hating hermit, because I’ve met lots of good, compassionate people. That’s the beauty of the human condition; to have big hearts while still being lost and confused.

Last night’s dream

I had a recurring dream about playing soccer in high school, which usually means I have anxiety about life right now. High school was a time of confusion. I grasped at whatever identity I could find as if my life depended on it. There are people who still cling to the identities they formed in high school, not realizing these self-preservers are worn out and tattered.

The easy way out

Life would be much simpler if I could let go of seeking the truth, but to do that would make life meaningless to me. I’d rather be on the path of truth and fail, than be blissfully ignorant. I’m now one of those lost and confused adults I used to wonder about as a kid.

The closest thing to truth I’ve ever found, is that none of us knows the truth.

image credits: Lanterns by David H-W (Extrajection), on Flickr