For me, self-exploration is like Gaming. Whether it’s PacMan, Mario, or the highly technical games that so many people play these days, there is an intention to get from one level to the next—up-leveling themselves over and over again.
Each level of the Game of Self-Exploration requires a level of proficiency, exploration beyond what was required in the previous level. The degree to which one is inspired, committed and disciplined, to move from one level to the next, is the degree to which one is willing to, quite often, die to make progress. It’s fascinating!
I’m in the Game of self-exploration, as we all are! And when I play a game, I want it to be easy. I want it to always be fun, and I want to make progress effortlessly. I hate when I’m stuck, emotional, and feel powerless. I hate when it feels hopeless, that I will never up-level myself out of the particular stuckness I’m in.
I Should Know
Because I’ve done so much personal work—playing this game for so long, I think I should know how to get myself out of whatever circumstance I’m in. Or, if nothing else, I should know how to be at peace with what is. Because I think I should know, I’m rattled even more so. It feels like I’m fighting myself out of a paper bag!
Two things keep me in this Game of up-leveling myself in regard to self-exploration. 1) I want to stop the suffering that I’ve been living in for my whole life. I want to know what is on the other side of suffering, enough that I stay in the Game. 2) I find it fun and fascinating. More often these days, though I’m still deeply challenged by what life throws at me, I’m in wonder of what magically appears because I’ve up-leveled myself. I’m intrigued by what’s beyond my normal way of seeing life, seeing me, seeing the Game.
I hate when people share platitudes such as, “If it were easy you wouldn’t have such a great story to tell.” Or, “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.” Or, “If it were easy, what would be the point?” My response to people who say these things is, “Go F… yourself!!!” I say that under my breath, of course!!! Jeesh.
There has to be something compelling, intriguing, or enjoyable enough to begin to play the Game. For some, we are thrown into the Game, due to illness, relationships, and circumstances beyond our control. And, when it gets difficult and damn near excruciating, there has to be enough compelling dedication or sheer faith, which keeps us in the Game.
For many of us, when that level of compelling dedication isn’t with us, it’s time to take a break. When we aren’t ready, we aren’t ready. I’ve gone through this stage of the Game many, many times. This is the time to walk away and do something else until I’m ready to step into the Game again. In the meantime, when things seem the most hopeless and despairing, what is there to do?
Stop Doing What Doesn’t Work
No teacher, worth their salt, would tell a person how to play the Game. They know, from personal experience, that 1) You came here to play your Game, no one else’s. And 2) You can only learn through the direct experience of being in your Game, no one else’s. 3) Sometimes, getting support to help you figure it out takes more courage and strength than anything else. 4) Getting support from someone who isn’t going to tell you how to play your game, but support and empower you through the game, takes huge amounts of courage and strength.
When lost, stuck, frustrated, confused and despairing, the advice that keeps coming to mind is this: STOP DOING WHAT DOESN’T WORK.
I hate this answer, because it means I have to look within myself for what I’m doing, thinking and feeling, and ask: “Does this work?” If it’s a no, I have to stop doing THAT!!!
Yep. I knew you were going to ask that question. We all want to know what to do, how to be, feel and think when we stop doing what we do normally. This is where leaps of faith come in. This is where we train ourselves to let go of what we are afraid to be with. This is where we step into true exploration of who we are—in this moment, in the uncertainty, into the unknown. This is the “I don’t know how to do me,” is declared. I totally get how agonizing it is to be in the “I don’t know how to do me.” But, this is where potentiality arises. It’s also where the “Then What?” arises again too!
I hate that it’s not easy. And, at the same time—no platitude here…. I’ve come to know myself, trust myself, respect and honor myself—even love myself, because I went through the hard stuff for me! I did it for me, and continue to do it for me. Sometimes I whine, bitch, moan, and complain. I go distract myself for a while when I can—escaping from what seems like a forever HELL. The Game will wait for me—I have no doubt. And, I will be surprised and delighted with what will show up in the Then What?!
I have no doubt that we are all here to be in the Game of Self-Exploration. We are all here to know ourselves in ways that may currently be unfathomable. You are not alone. That’s a good thing to know!
I would love to hear your comments, questions and feedback.