Many teachers speak of being OK with what is. Of being here now. Of being mindful or present. Of the present of presence.
These are all ways of saying much the same thing. It is interesting to note how this tends to develop though. Rare is the person who simply sees through their drama and becomes whole. Usually they step through in stages.
First step is a willingness to see what’s there. To see our conditioning and resistance. To stop hiding from how we really feel about life and our lot in it. For many people, this in itself can take some time. It may depend on how invested we are in the drama. It may depend on how much we believe the story we’ve been telling ourselves and everyone else who will listen. Or how true we feel that out life is bad. But there must be a willingness to look. A willingness to begin to stop taking it all personally, to stop believing it, and to see what mud is there.
At first, it can be tricky as ego will play both the role of the drama queen and the one who steps back and judges it wrong. “I am spiritual so should not have these feelings.””Real men don’t cry.””I am above such things.” Blah blah blah… (raspberry noise)
As we begin to see the drama and resistance there, we can learn how to let it go. That too can be a little difficult at first. It is such a habit, the muck can seem a part of us. In fact, we will soon discover that what we thought was “me” was just a story. Not only that, but the story is terrible – badly written, illogical, and having almost no merit.
Soon we get the hang of it and stop believing it. Then it can be almost entertaining. I believed that?? Doh!
As we clear some of the load and let go of some investment in it, a new level of OK begins to dawn.
We can begin to let it be as it is. To just be OK with it. As we may have so long been on a path of making ourselves wrong and looking for fixes, this too can be a challenge. I’m a mess, believing some shoddy story. I am too this or too that. How can that be OK? But that is the next lesson. Forgiving ourselves.
To really get the lesson of being OK, we have to step into being OK with everything. Absolutely everything. If we are against it, we are resisting.
This can be deeply challenging for some people. We can build our whole identity around what we’re against – war, Nazis, torture, victimization, slavery, poverty… the list is very long and can bury us in regret and a need for control. Some people can ream off their list. Some are oblivious to it, simply taking it as presumed “fact”.
But there’s a trick to this. It doesn’t mean we give up discrimination or opinions. But we get the deeper spiritual truth that railing against something makes it stronger. Anti-war is war. But pro-peace is peace. They may seem 2 sides of the same coin but they are miles apart. Discovering what we prefer rather than what we are against can be a surprising revelation. We learn to choose what we love rather than dwell on what we hate.
When we stop being against, we are emptied of fear and suffering. We being to truly allow what is, as it is. This brings a startling clarity of perception. What is more deeply true is unmasked. We step through the illusion of pain. And we step into the peace we have so long sought.
The film Fierce Light muses on this subject, the coming together of spirituality and activism, of inner peace and passion. When peace becomes deep, the passion of life itself dawns.
What is most interesting is what falls away and what stays. Things we may have thought part of the “real me” can simply end. And things we had long thought we were bad at or were someone else’s skill begin to blossom on the new ground of freedom.
There is another aspect to being OK with what is – not only is it the key to stepping out of suffering but as I begin to touch on here, it is the key to awakening. Allowing, being OK, willingness is the key to the spiritual journey.
Silence speaks through all voices.