I spent an afternoon exploring a new wood with a friend, not far from where I live. The wood itself isn't new, obviously, but it was the first time I'd been.
It was full of all the things that make me go, "Ooooh, this is amazing!" Lots of delicious green moss, water dripping down the old quarry face, and even a rickety old wooden bridge with wire sides that definitely felt a bit risky to cross. Somehow I felt like I'd been transported into The Goonies (best film ever?!).
And foraging. We foraged for wild garlic, which was most exciting because I've wanted to do some foraging for a while. It feels so satisfying to have another way to ditch the plastic and packaging in the supermarket, which my heart is tolerating less and less.
I could probably talk about woodlands and foraging and plastic all day, but I’m not here for that today. I’m here for this:
For many years, ever since leaving my job really, I've been seeking. I've been seeking the truth about life. I've been looking for the ultimate answers and it's almost like I thought that when I found them, then I'd be able to live.
And I do feel like I've discovered some deep truths about life. Experiencing the fact that I don't exist as a separate self was probably the biggest of all, and that understanding has lead to all sorts of positive changes in my life and so much compassion for myself and others as we move through this human experience.
But what I've been grappling with lately, is that it seems to me now that no matter how deep you go in your quest for truth and your search for ultimate answers, the most ultimate answer of all (most ultimate?), is this:
Life is a mystery.
Even writing those four words brings tears to my eyes. It's a recognition of coming full circle on something. That in the end, there has to be an acknowledgement and acceptance that to be alive is to live in a vast mystery and that for some things, there are no answers.
My desire for an ultimate, ultimate answer, was somehow just another layer of not wanting to accept that I have to find my own way in this life. That there is no ultimate right way to be. That there is no ultimate right thing to talk about. That there is no ultimate right way to express oneself. That there is no ultimate right thing to create.
It all circles back to this one thing:
The courage to go your own way and be yourself, as fully and completely as you are able in every moment.
No matter how deep you go and no matter how much you uncover, there will always be someone who disagrees with you, always someone who sees and does things differently, always someone who has a truth that is different from your own.
And for the seekers amongst us, with a thirst for truth and ultimate answers, we can easily let these differences become a reason we never truly dive into just being ourselves, creating and moving in whatever direction we're called - because somewhere, deep inside, we still think there's a 'right' way to do it all. And as long as we're looking for the 'right' way, no matter how subtle that might be, we're not fully allowing ourselves to simply to do it our way, whatever that looks like.
And the more I think about it, the more I think that having the courage to simply be yourself and do life your way, is what it's all about. If you have love and kindness in your heart, you can't go wrong.
So for today at least I'm allowing myself to drop the search, to rest in the mystery of this experience we find ourselves in, and to be myself, whatever that happens to be in every moment.
Join me there?
Love and courage,