In the powerful guided meditation that I mentioned a few weeks back, by Ram Dass, there is a phrase that he uses that has gripped me.  He says, “If you have sadness, let it go, you don’t need it.  Hurt; if you’ve been hurt, just let it go.”  The words, “you don’t need it,” have been pulsating my consciousness and what they shook awake in me has proven to lift me to the next rung of my spiritual ladder, if you will.

“You don’t need it” – why would anyone need sadness, I asked myself?  But then I came to see that when we have been hurt, or caused sadness, or experienced trauma, or maintain a reservoir of anger, we are using these emotions to validate our value.  We are holding onto these emotions to prove that what was done to us was wrong, and that we were worth being treated with love.  That we are indeed lovable!  By holding onto the pains of our experiences we are ensuring they are not forgotten, or forgiven, but rather acknowledged, so others, as well as ourselves, can see what we have overcome or survived.  It’s curious, isn’t it?  The idea that we would need to hold these markers of emotions to prove our journey, our perseverance, strength, and worth. 

It almost brought me to tears thinking of how long I held onto certain storm clouds of emotions to define me, and help prove me, and my sense of self to the world.  Through my journey to grow my connection to God/the Universe/the One, I have allowed myself to let go of so much that anchored me to a mindset that wasn’t moving me towards my desired destiny.  Yet, the simplicity of a phrase, of a twenty year old guided meditation, served to awaken me further.  Life truly is magnificent!

Allow me a metaphor: think of a darkness wrapped around a beautifully radiant light.  This wrapped darkness, while we hold onto it to serve as a placeholder for the suffering we have endured, also serves to suppress that radiant light.  The darkness may lift in moments, allowing us to feel the magic of emanating our light out onto the world.  However, until we see it as an entity outside of who we are, we will always engage life through its filter.  The mind tells us that who we are is with this darkness attached, but that is the mind egoically creating your value and sense of self and worth.  From this place, we are not able to submerge our heart with our own radiant light, or that of life.  We live from a place of shelter, in our cave observing the light dancing on the meadow just outside its opening.  We are an onlooker of our life.

So, what does it require to release our dark shell?  I suspect the specifics would be different for each person, but I imagine we all have to begin by even recognizing that it is a shell, and not a part of who we are.  What this also means is acknowledging that the story we created of who we are also has to be released so that we can recognize how our story is actually that of all life.  Our story is of the light we emanate and bathe in. 

This may sound out there for some, but as I continuously insist on sharing my vulnerability with life, the more I can see that this shell of darkness is not latched down, it’s not permanent.  I don’t need to live my story to engage the love of others.  I need to recognize that the love of others is my love, that it is all connected.  And, when I allow myself to hold this mindset, I am not longer caught in my patterns of sadness or hurt, but rather breathing in the present moment, dancing with life.  The reactions that felt innate from under the shelter of that darkness now feel foreign, as I’m not counting on them to display my worth.  I am not choosing from this sheltered place of past experiences, but rather embracing the unknown to what all life has to reveal to me.  I am focused on finding the love in each and every moment, and thus I am not judging, not reacting, not complaining, or victimizing myself.  I am living; truly living in the light of all that is possible.

I know some will read this and suspect I’ve lost my mind.  I simply encourage you to sit with your sadness, your hurt, and your anger, and ask yourself what it is bringing to your life.  It’s simply a choice; the choice of allowing love.  Not demanding it, not challenging it, not judging or doubting it – just allowing it.