I am standing on the sandy shore surrounded by the people I love. Everything I’ve been taught to believe reminds me that this shore is where it’s at. I try harder than I’ve tried at anything else to stay put. I pretend I believe and feel the same as my shore-mates.
I’m not happy here. Every day I become more and more uncomfortable in my own skin. My anxiety is unbearable. Physically, I don’t feel well. Mentally, my head feels like it’s a hair’s breath away from total implosion. Until, one day, I can’t take it anymore.
I see a boat.
I run to the boat. My heart is pounding and my only focus is get to that boat.
I climb aboard. I sit for a minute. For the first time on the bow of this boat, I feel normal. Me? Feeling normal? I didn’t know it was possible.
The peace is glorious here, but it is temporary. I have to go back to the shore. And I do. I don’t have a choice. The people I love are there.
Once I’m back on shore I try to talk to people about the amazing experience of peace I had. They have no idea what I am talking about. They think I’m crazy. I think I’m crazy. So, I keep my mouth shut and try to focus my attention on the amazing people who inhabit this shore. I hope this is enough.
It doesn’t work. I have to go back to the boat. This time, after I climb aboard, the boat starts to go out to sea.
While I love being on the boat, I’m completely alone.
Something tells me, the sailing won’t be smooth to where I’m going.
The seas change in an instant. Where there was infinite peace lighting up the distant horizon, it gets blocked by stormy clouds. Then, the rain comes. Followed by the most dangerous lightning and frightening waves I’ve ever witnessed. I don’t think I’m going to make it.
I can’t turn around, even though I miss my shore-mates. Even though it seems the shore is safe, for me it isn’t. It has become as dangerous as the fiery sea. I have ventured so far from the shore I can never, ever go back. At least, if I do go back, I won’t be the same. The difference this time is that my shore-mates will know I don’t fit in. Where they suspected it before, they will know with certainty that I no longer can live by their rules.
I hate being on this boat.
I can’t go forward and I can’t go back.
I have to ride out the storm and see where it takes me.
A long time ago when I was trying my best to be a shore-person, I accidentally acknowledged the Light of God inside me. This led me to the boat.
I don’t exactly understand why following the Light of God is so hard. It makes no logical sense.
Then I realize it’s because I’m still trying to follow the Light as a shore-person. I’m not ready to let go of this identity even though it never fit me to begin with. I’m afraid if I let go of the shore once and for all, I will never have the love of my shore-mates again.
I miss them already.
Since I can no longer turn back, and I’m kind of miserable here on the boat, all I can hope for is that the Light will take over.
I don’t really know yet.
“In the experience of every person, there comes a certain moment when he is penetrated by a ray of God, when a touch of God breaks through his consciousness, not because of himself, but in spite of himself. From the moment that ray touches him, the end is inevitable: he will find his way to the throne of God.”
-Joel S. Goldsmith The Art of Meditation