Growing up in the Midwest, I saw things that as a kid just didn’t make sense with what I had been taught. Two-headed baby cows, pieces of straw driven through the trunk of a tree by a tornado, and people driving trucks across a lake to roast bratwursts over the fire in their ice shanty. What I had been taught about life certainly did not square with what I was experiencing in life. Confusing.
Now grown up, I’ve come to understand how we are taught about life is not unlike learning English. First you learn rules for how each letter sounds, then you learn rules for how letters behave with another letter (play nice now), and then you learn how many many exceptions there are to the rules you just spent a lot of time learning. Arghh! As people who work with me come to appreciate, paradox is the presence of the sacred messing with the rules we are taught for how life works. Paradox.
Life is like learning English-first you learn the rules, then exceptions to the rules, and then how not following the rules creates the poetry that is your life. As Rumi offered “Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’ doesn’t make any sense’. Beautiful.
Having joy and peace in your life require you replace the habit of making yourself wrong with the habit of living what you know to be true for you. We become confused about life when we listen to the conflicting advice of experts instead of using the sacred GPS already within us. And, we all need help remembering how to use our sacred GPS for navigating our life with joy and ease. Yup.
The confusion, insecurity, and despair so common in our contemporary world springs from confusion, insecurity, and despair about how to trust yourself and life. Modern technology-like your powerful mind-are great tools for contemporary life, but not so good for being in charge of our life. Happiness and peace in contemporary life requires breaking rules you’ve taught about life, remembering again to trust your sacredness, for navigating your life on purpose and with delight. Awesome.