"You think you have all of these problems but you really only have one, and that is your separation from God." - Marianne Williamson
From what I know about life, separation is hell.
Or rather I should say, from what I know about life since reading A Course in Miracles separation is hell, but I've long since known it was hell even before that particular text found me at the Last Bookstore in Downtown LA a few months back.
Simply put, when you think you are alone in the world, in life, in any situation, a slow, subtle madness ensues.
Don't act like you've never witnessed it in yourself. It's there, and it's real.
(Well, it's real enough in the sense that you believe in it, but luckily for us, it's not really Real. More on that in another post).
People go crazy in isolation, that's why it's used in punishment and torture.
When you're separate from the whole, you feel no connection to anything and you have nothing to anchor yourself to, nothing to turn to for comfort.
When you don't have the solid belief that someone or some thing is with you protecting you, comforting you, and keeping you sane when there's no physical people around you (a la Castaway's Wilson), you descend into terrible mania, and this mania has the power to worm its way to your 'self-destruct' button so fast you won't know what hit you.
Take for example social anxiety.
You're nervous about going on a first date. Why?
Because there's pressure to get someone to like you, and you're not comfortable because there's nothing familiar around you. It's not like your friends are there with you, or someone you feel comfortable around.
You're stranded all alone with this stranger who you're trying to impress. Keyword being "alone", and there's no relief from the situation.
It spirals and things get worse. You trip over your words, and you frantically look around and adjust your position so you don't look awkward or weird or uncomfortable.
There's no safety.
When you feel like there's no safety, it's a sure sign you're going it alone, and that's exactly why you feel the anxiety.
And let's be honest, a lot of us don't feel worthy in a lot of ways, so it's a lot of pressure to try and do and be all of these great things like be in healthy relationships and be solid entrepreneurs, when we don't feel all that great about ourselves to begin with.
And then when we fail to do something we really wanted to do, we blame ourselves like crazy because we gave it everything we had, and we tried so hard, and all the pressure was on our shoulders and we still didn't see the results we wanted.
And we get in terrible slumps because we feel so incredibly alone in all of the things we are trying to do, be, and make happen. And we feel like we have no help.
And so this is where it all starts clicking into place.
We weren't supposed to try and go it alone to begin with.
We are not now, nor have we ever been, alone, and we can't continue thinking that it's our duty as adults to strike out on our own and be independently separate from everyone else.
Ultimately, we cannot trust that we alone are capable of doing and being everything.
Because imagine how much horrible pressure that would be?
Imagine having to do something heroic, like jump out into the ocean to save a stranger from drowning. Imagine relying on only yourself to save that person, feeling like you're the only person who was responsible for their LIFE!
You'd probably drown yourself trying to do it.
And what if that person had died? Surely that's crossed your mind while swimming out there trying to save them.
The truth is, no one can bear that much pressure, and I promise you're not supposed to.
This goes for smaller things too, like doing stuff that scares you in general. Being in social situations you find extremely uncomfortable. Riding in an airplane or going outside when you have severe agoraphobia.
Imagine having to do all that by yourself?
This is why we have phobias in the first place, because we believe wildly that some crazy thing might happen to us and no one will be there to save or help us. Certainly not our unreliable selves.
I'd love to break it to you again that you are not now and have never been doing this life thing alone.
There is nothing separating us from love, and from each other. It's an illusion, a trick of the eyes as we reside in the physical realm.
If you think for a second that the very universe that created you could in any way be separate from you, take a look at your own creativity for a second.
Is there anything that you've ever created in your life that wasn't yours? Is there any work of art that you've spent time and effort creating that didn't belong to you?
If you paint a picture on a piece of paper, it's yours. It's your work of art.
So the real truth is, you are love's work of art.
The Course in Miracles says you are an idea in the mind of God. (And a great one, I might add).
You were created by a universe that wants nothing but to cherish you and all that you've become. And the best part is, so was everybody else.
That guy you just tipped at Starbucks was created by love.
That crazy chick in the red Volkswagen that just cut you off was also created by love.
The people in your life who make you miserable are just as loved as you, and they are just as deserving of that love, because they came from the same place you did, and they have the same creator.
We're not separate, my friends. We're family.
For worse or for better, we belong together (we hear you Pat Benatar).
So what's the key takeaway?
Don't go through this life believing that person is over there, and you are over here, because you're separating yourself from the pack, and when cells in the body do that, it creates a tumor (thank you Marianne Williamson).
So don't be cancerous. Stick with the pack and we'll all be alright.
Turn to love, God, the universe, or whatever you call that divine being that created us all. It's your only shot at peace and salvation. Everything else is a short-lived distraction, and you deserve to remember and return to the divine peace that always dwells within you.
If a lot of this seems hard to get the hang of, I've created a 30 Days of Love series to help guide your thinking each morning into a mindset of love and wholeness with the world around you, and to remind you that there is always divinity within you.
Always remember that separation is nothing more than a jarring ass illusion, often times made worse by society's reinforcement of it, but don't believe the physical senses. They're causing you stress, overwhelm, fear, and anxiety, and there's another way to live.
You're connected to the whole, and this Buddha Doodle illustrates this idea perfectly.
We are all little bits of each other. And when you return to the love inside of you that connects us all, you will know peace.