If you were to listen in on all my private sessions with clients, one of the most frequent phrases you’d hear me say is, “Me too.”
Me too to anxiety. Me too to fear. Me too to uncertainty. Me too to feeling low. Me too to weird family dynamics and all the feelings that come along with that. Me too to relationship struggles. Me too to sadness. Me too to self-doubt. And a very big me too to overwhelm. Me too, me too, me too.
My clients are usually surprised and then relieved.
One of the most pervasive and troublesome ideas on the spiritual path is that ‘that person over there doesn’t experience what I experience.’
This idea, in which we believe ‘I’m the only one’, keeps us locked in a cycle of trying to find a solution to ourselves, constantly striving to achieve a state of being that we imagine other people to have.
One of the milestones on the spiritual path and in our healing journeys is when we truly begin to feel and know in a deeper way that everything we’re experiencing is ok, that other people experience it too and that the goal is not to reach a place in which all the things we’ve labelled wrong or bad disappear from our lives forever.
For me, this is a realisation that has come slowly slowly and seems to deepen a little each time I find myself caught yet again in the belief that there is something wrong with my experience.
You might wonder, if we take on board that other people struggle in similar ways to us, how it is we might ever discover the peace and happiness we’re searching for? What is healing if it’s not finding a solution that will stop our anxiety for good? End our self-doubt for good? Prevent us from ever feeling depressed again?
Contrary to what most of us have come to believe, peace and happiness are not states in which we always feel ‘good’. At least, not in the way we typically think of as feeling good. Rather, they are what we experience when we’re not asking for life to be different to how it is in any particular moment and making our current experience the enemy.
Healing is not a place in the future where all our struggles have been overcome, but rather it is what happens when we begin to form bonds of deep friendship with our struggles right now, as they are happening.
As long as we believe the idea that others have a different (better) experience of life and a magic solution to all the struggles of being human, we will delay building these bonds of friendship. The good news is that everything on our path is perfectly as it should be and sometimes, it is only through repeatedly trying to get rid of our experience that we wear ourselves out enough to take a different approach – an approach that lovingly embraces our experience instead of pushing it away.
So once again, let me remind you:
Love and courage,