“I did not even want to discover truth anymore because I guessed what it was. The truth was life was meaningless.” ~Thomas Merton
If you are compelled to evolution, there will most likely come a time where you feel kicked out of life. It is not merely that you have to change your diet, or give up drinking, or change careers, or give up exercise, or let go of a mate. You find that the world no longer holds any interest for you.
You will probably spend awhile trying to kick start yourself into wanting to want the old things – certain friends, or activities or life goals. However, at some point, you will realize it is not going to happen. Then you may spend a period of time frightened and afraid that you are going crazy. If you are lucky, during this time you will stumble across an author (if you have not given up reading) or meet someone who validates this disinclination to the culture as part of the evolution into a creative and authentic life.
It is a time of dissolution and surrender. The old you is gone. All the things that you liked about yourself, all the ways you valued yourself are gone or taken away. It feels like a punishment. You fear you will never have another job, meet another mate, laugh or dance again.
The reality is that what is there, under the fear and grief, is actually you! It is this you you get to learn about, take care of and grow into. It is as if you have lost your armor, or the mask you show to the culture, and what is left is essence. This essence was most easily ignored or avoided while you were “competent” in your old ways of relating to the world.
There is no limit on how long you mourn. It is likely that years later there will still be things you miss from before. You may actually return to some of your previous interests or ways of engaging in the world, but you will have a new perspective.
In the time of darkness you let go of old wounds, of friends, of lovers, passions, competencies, ways you knew your body or ways you identified yourself in the world. You can die many deaths. You continue to let go of what you always felt was you, until you feel there is nothing left.
Yet, after all of that surrender, there is no job offer, marriage proposal or book contract. It is time to walk on water. It is time to live from the place that trusts you are here for a reason. To know that all you have come to know of yourself is what you have to offer and that you will be given the opportunity to bloom into that person in the world.
Your life is now threaded through the place called spirit. You will find that making decisions from how you think things should be, or by what you should do no longer works. Decisions made that way will never seem to work out and fail to bring you a sense of inner alignment.
Now, the future happens by listening to where you are in the present. You need not worry if you get ahead of yourself. Every time you forget and begin to act as if “you” decide, you will get a reminder that you are the vessel of your spirit, not the master. After the long period of feeling kicked out of life, you find your way back to the world deeply rooted to an inner place you had never known before.
“… the life force that returned to me was not new but very old; it was the same force that had guided me during the early periods of my life. In essence I returned to the first things….” ~Thomas Merton