Although it’s crucial we don’t drown ourselves in commonplace glooms of this world, to deny them is the other extreme of inauthenticity. It’s worse than to immerse in little pleasures and pains of this world. When we squelch our natural state, while falsely assuring that we have gone beyond them, we are going far away from our authentic self. That’s the beginning of the end of our spiritual life.
Let’s get otherworldly, but not by denying our humanity in this world. Instead, let’s accept ourselves for who we are, for what God has made us. Let’s not confuse what we aspire for with what is. Let’s feel our emotions with acceptance. The present mental state is a reality as much as our desire to attain mysticism. But if we crush our sentiments within, we only harm the self- our heart becomes a graveyard. How could we then experience God or touch humanity in others? My connection to my emotional self is the launch pad to a world of empathy and care for others.
The timeless words of the legendary deaf-blind author, Helen Keller ring so true, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” Isn’t that the reason why people close their eyes when they pray, cry, kiss, or dream? – You can’t see the tenderness of your heart, but you need to feel it.
Authenticity in spiritual life
I may be in control of what I do, but I could never control the waves of different desires that lash unexpectedly. The mental sensations come and go, but to deny them is stressful. To practice real spiritual life, I need to humbly accept my state of mind and come to terms with my natural self. Then I could move forward, aligning my life to my values and purpose. That’s when my realness maps to spiritual progress. Otherwise, intense pain awaits us when we deny our attachments to make others happy.
Can you imagine the colossal misfortune that has struck humanity where most of its poignant feelings and evolved thoughts have been unexpressed? A greater calamity, however, is our inability even to understand what we go through in our head and heart. And the ultimate misfortune is when men and women don’t seek to embark on a journey towards emotional honesty.
When we connect to our state of mind, slowly but surely, our journey will blossom from matter to spirit- we’ll get closer to God’s abode by accepting our small and complete self in this abode of death.
Today, six months after the tragedy, as life moves on and I get busy with my ‘to do’ lists, somewhere the futility of it all stares at me.