Life is an “And” not an “Or”

As I go through more of life, I have been struck by how often I am led to the conclusion that almost all answers rest in a paradox.

Good and Bad. Positive and Negative. Lightness and Darkness.

Life is an “and” not an “or.”

So, it comes as no shock that to experience the presence of God would also be a paradox.

Richard Rohr, the brilliant Franciscan writer, and teacher put it this way:

“Only when we can “let go” of everything within us, all desire to see, to know, to taste and to experience the presence of God, do we become able to experience that presence with the overwhelming conviction and reality that revolutionizes our inner life.”

Buddhist teachers call this non-attachment. If you want to be healed and transformed, you cannot come to meditation with an objective of getting something out it.

The purpose is to be with whatever arises in the moment, non-judgmentally. Whether it is good or bad. Whether the feeling makes you want to escape to a warm bed away from all human contact or makes you want to dream up huge goals for yourself, we are taught to notice these as thoughts and return to our Being.

The path to transformation is to remove your attachment to a particular result. However, you must know deep down that eventually transformation will come, it just might not look like what you wanted.

For me, this is a daily battle. It is extremely hard for me to let go of my attachment to a result (no anxiety, more happiness, deeper connection with the Divine) while at the same time sincerely wanting the outcome to come true. I know this natural and healthy, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

The key is to accept your desires when they arise and slowly start to let them go.

Remember, meditation and prayer are not meant to change God, but to change you in the presence of It.

Take some time today to sit and just be. For no reason at all. Just sit there.

It will feel extremely uncomfortable if you are accustomed to only pursuing results and outcomes. If so, good. You are starting to grasp what this journey will be like.

Sit with whatever arises. Anxiety, doubt, joy, peace, anger, fear. These are all incredibly normal human emotions that will occur when you lower your barriers keeping you from your true self.

To be honest, it will suck. It will be hard.

Your goal of being “chilled out” or reaching Nirvana will no longer feel as fun, but it is at this exact moment, when you are about to fill your mind with thoughts to ease the anxiety, that you are able to finally enter into an experience with God.

And that will be unlike anything the external world could ever provide. I wish this for you. I wish this for your every moment. I wish this for your Life.

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