Undressing: A Tale of Glorious Loss

Undressing: A Tale of Glorious Loss 

 

I spent the majority of my young life in an anxious quest to discover my true nature and the true nature of all things. This seemed like a noble quest, and I filled journals with my findings, documenting my ever-changing ideas, motivations, desires, and discoveries. I dabbled in various philosophies and wholeheartedly invested my interest and attention in law-of-attraction spirituality. I knew one thing was true: life is not what it appears to be on the surface.

 
In my youth I awkwardly attempted to play by the rules set by society, but typically I felt like a round peg in a square hole. I had a difficult time socializing and relating to others in my peer groups, so I inevitably spent a lot of time alone, contemplating all things and desperately hoping to find an answer that might satisfy the anxious longing I felt (but had no idea how to placate).

 
Truth be told I was anxious and irritable most of the time. I had an itch I couldn’t yet scratch. I then began seeking anything I could to help alleviate this discomfort — i sought solace in an endless string of boyfriends (all hopelessly wrong for me, of course), in exercise, in perfecting my body and looks, in books and philosophies, in meditation, in drug experimentation, and in many other distracting behaviors. I was lost. Totally, utterly lost — but not hopeless. Though I was painfully desperate for answers to my biggest, burning questions, I had an inextenguishable, fiery optimism that carried me onward. Though I was anxious for more than what I’d received, life was, at the end of the day, a delicious, magical mystery.

Then, everything changed.

They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears; I must have been ready. Things changed radically when I turned 25 and stumbled synchronistically into my teacher, who I resonated with deeply. This teacher introduced me to non-duality (“not two”) which can be defined (though definitions fall painfully short) as a philosophical, spiritual, and scientific understanding of non-separation and the intrinsic oneness of all things. I spent the next year fully immersed in this teaching.

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What I found, above all, was that immersing myself in these principles was like getting naked (yep, you read that right). Instead of feeling like I had gained something, I found that many (seeming) layers of delusion and mistaken identity began to fall away gradually. I liken it to having spent 25 years piling on layers and layers of unnecessary clothing — thousands of superfluous hats, socks, mittens, pants, t-shirts, sweaters, and shoes — and then all of those layers being burned in an instant, revealing an indescribable beauty that had been there all along but had been (seemingly) obscured.

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It was like coming home. It would be even more appropriate to say that it was like realizing that I’d never left home at all.

I felt lighter than I’d felt in years. Bad habits, chronic stresses, anxiety, worries, and needless suffering dropped away or lost the power they once seemed to have over me.

(Don’t get me wrong — this wasn’t all happiness and delight. While I studied with my teacher, I was inevitably confronted with all the layers of delusion I’d spent years believing. This is often excruciatingly painful. I could no longer run from painful, uncomfortable emotions or beliefs, and I had what some might like to call “a dark night of the soul”. I fiercely questioned my life in a way I hadn’t before, and this was both intoxicatingly liberating and powerfully confusing.)

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Then, it was over.

I’d exhausted talks with my teacher and, in fact, there was nothing left to learn.

I felt utterly transformed and yet completely unchanged. I’d peeled off many layers of clothing but there was nothing gained.

I’d lost many things, and in this loss there was magic — indescribable, ineffable magic.

I’m an all-together a different woman, yet I’m more “me” than I’ve ever been. By losing myself, I found myself. In the process, all illusions, delusions, and false beliefs I’d carried (like a heavy weight) had been gracefully set down. I travel lighter now –much, much lighter.

As I sit typing this now, I realize that all that I’ve just said is simply a story and an interpretation of what ultimately cannot be interpreted. All of my words about what I’ve learned and how life is now experienced will ultimately fall short, but I cannot help but share.

You who read this now, know that there is a grace, love, and innocence behind all that is seen, all that is felt, and all that is experienced.

Life cannot be defined and resists any definition (if one attempts to collect the river in a bucket, it ceases being the river), but it can be felt.

You can feel it — that magic.

It’s here, right now. Available to you all times, with no requirement necessary to meet it.

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Do you remember?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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