Every Path Leads to Nowhere

All paths lead to nowhere (now-here). So you might as well skip the plan and just get present.

I was looking at a diagram with a friend this morning. It’s one of those charts that show you different paths, depending on what choice you make. As he examined it he said, “This is pointless! Every path you take leads to a dead end! What’s the use!” When I heard that, something clicked. I laughed inside. I heard the truth and the wisdom. It made me smile to hear how every path that we think will lead us somewhere — brings us right back to ourselves.

I need peace,
I need children,
I need money,
I need property,
I need space,
I need accomplishment,
I need success,
I need creativity,
I need sex,
I need love,
I need freedom,
I need education,
I need friendship,
I need career,
I need protection,
I need expression,
I need rights,
I need balance,
I need security,
I need religion,
I need opportunity,
I need equality,
I need partnership,
I need family,
I need health,
I need answers,
I need individuality,
I need truth,
I need unity,
I need simplicity,
I need comfort,
I need luxury,
I need silence,
I need understanding,
I need help,
I need companionship,
I need solitude,
I need forgiveness,
I need romance,
I need independence,
I need support,
I need acceptance,
I need travel,
I need work,
I need solutions,
I need nature,
I need attention,
I need beauty,
I need respect,
I need allies,
I need nothing.

Pick any one of those that rings true for you, and ask yourself what you think it will ultimately give you. In what way will it be the answer? How will it complete you? Will it end the search? The constant need to want, like, or need something — will it finally be over?

And really be clear. Do you think fighting against something will give you what you want? Do you think you will be happy? What about striving for something? Or working for something? Will that do it? Will you be complete then? How about creating something? Will it end there? What about not wanting anything? Will that finally finish the job? What will it take for you to feel like you are whole & complete & content — like there is no path to take that would be better than the present moment?

Where are you in all of this? And why is it that you need so much to feel like everything is OK? What is it about you that isn’t working for you? Why are you never enough? Maybe the problem is you?

For me, when I get stuck on the “you” problem (a.k.a. the “me” problem). I can usually trace it to three things (actually, just one, one will do the trick). All three things lead to suffering. And all three things are just confusion in my opinion. Confused thinking.

Bring any problem you have to mind. Trace it down to its roots. Go really really deep. Don’t cut yourself short. Dig down deep. What’s down there? Really look at it. Expose it. Give it a good face-to-face look. Is it fear? You betcha. So the problem you think you have — that you needed something to solve — really isn’t the problem, is it?

I can pretty much take any problem, any source of suffering, and catch myself dwelling on the past, or in the future. If I take myself out of those places (that don’t exist!), and I get fully present to what is happening ONLY in the present moment — if I can do that, then I am fine. And I don’t mean the current moment somewhere else. I mean right now, right here — with the one that was lost in past/future based thinking. If I just get still. If I stop and just feel what it feels like to be in the present moment fully — I will see that the suffering is unjustified.

The next time you are frustrated, or angry, or jealous, or stressed, or lonely, or discontent — the next time you are suffering in any way — ask yourself where you are. Where are you mentally? I bet you aren’t present to the gift that is now. This moment, in all it has to offer.

Ahhh… back to the “me” & “you” problem. :) Don’t cha just love it! It’s everywhere. Look over your day. Look throughout your life. Look all over the world! Don’t you see it? It’s like a disease that everyone is suffering from. There is a Zen quote that I really love, it’s “No Self, No Problem.” That quote is one of the most profound quotes I know. (And if you have ever seen my Facebook or Twitter pages, you know I am a quote magnet. So if I say this one is tops, I mean it!) Everything is integral in my opinion. Just like it is becoming more obvious that we are all part of one world (no country is separate), because the planet earth is showing us that (e.g., destroy the rainforests, and everyone everywhere feels the impact). When you believe that every person, every living being, isn’t moving as one, from a common source, totally and infinitely connected — you will feel it. And it isn’t a good feeling. It’s called suffering.

All three of these things, these roots of suffering, or feelings of incompleteness, all of them can instantly disappear.

On Thursday evening I was bent out of shape, not in a good head space. That night I couldn’t sleep. I felt terrible. The next morning I received an email from someone. They reassured me that there isn’t a problem. Everything will be taken care of. All is well. After that, I was light as a cloud and had the most amazing day! How is this possible? I asked myself, “Aimee, what happened between last night & this morning? How can you go from distraught to bliss? Nothing happened, but a few brief words from another person! Nothing physically changed — just a few words were read!” I thought about it and I realized that I could trace the distraught feeling to all the roots of suffering I mentioned above. And the person that reassured me in their email, addressed each one of the three roots: There is nothing to fear; This won’t happen in the future; We share the same goal. –And whalla! I was back to bliss! But what I should have realized is, that I don’t need that to come from outside of me. Not from any person or circumstance. It was there all along.

Try it for yourself. Just notice. Hold up your wants. See if they can solve your problems once and for all, or make you feel totally complete & whole. Then, hold up your problems. See if you can trace them back to a feeling of fear; past or future based thinking; or an idea that you are a separate individual. Have fun with it. Have fun digging and checking out the roots. Dig deep. Get your hands dirty. Everyone is in the mud. But everyone doesn’t have to be stuck.

Take a good look at what paths you want to take to get you somewhere, that isn’t already here. Check to see if it leads you to a dead end (right back to you). Or just give up the search, and find what you have always been looking for — right here, right now — in this moment — just as it is. See that it is already perfect, already complete. Stop and settle into it, fully feel & embrace it. Feel how it feels to love fearlessly.

[Today’s blog post was written and posted back in September 2012.]


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