It’s Not Out There

Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside. – Ramana Maharshi

I have been thinking a lot about how “personal development” works.

How do we live a “good” life?

How do we achieve our goals?

How do we exist in a world that sometimes feels too big, confusing and isolating?

It would seem that most of the “answers” out there are to do this, or that, and not do this, or that. And if you want it bad enough, you’ll get “it.”

The problem is I don’t think that’s how it works.

All that advice, all those strategies and tactics rest on a core assumption: that “it” is out there.

What if the opposite were true?

What if instead of going outside our selves and doing and getting and stopping and starting were wrong?

What if all we needed to do was go within?

What if all we needed to do was uncover the beauty and genius and passion and purpose and power that is underneath all the crap we’ve taken on over the years?

What if we are covered in layers of what our parents (as well-meaning and doing-their-best as they were), and our schools and our friends and society and culture have heaped upon us?

The layers of stuff we took on because we’re social animals that need to belong?

What if forgave them, and ourselves, for that and asked ourselves: what if I was perfect and magical, at my core?

Well, it’s true.

We are.

We are perfect and magical and whole and amazing and strong and  . . .

We’ve just taken on habits of thinking, believing, feeling and acting that keeps us safe (i.e. in the tribe/pack/group and not doing anything that seems risky).

All we need to do is look at what we’re thinking, believing, feeling and doing and ask ourselves: is this in alignment with my perfect wholeness, my true nature, or is it serving something else?

If it’s something else do something else.

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