Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Grasping & Learning To Let Go

Matter of Taste Coffee Bar
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

It's rare these days that I actually sit and write my thoughts down on my blog. Usually it's a quote or part of a news article and I make a few brief points. But today is perfect for writing a few thoughts down. The cinnamon hazelnut coffee is delicious in the warm café as the winds of Autumn blow the leaves - and people - around outside.

This evening I'm thinking about grasping, and really how futile it is. Maybe you're like me, and maybe you're not, but I spend a lot of time grasping - even if it's in my mind - for the things that I want. Love, people, money, entertainment, a sense of comfort. But it seems that the more I grasp, the more I reach out for things, the more frustrated I become, and rarely do I obtain the thing that I seek. I am left damned frustrated and more miserable than before.

I think a lot of it has to do with us losing touch with who we are. Call it our identity, our souls, our inner voice, our spirit.  We know somewhere deep within us that nothing and no one outside of ourselves can provide the true peace that we are looking for, yet there we go again. It's like we're at a parade full of distractions, with hot dog vendors and people swilling cotton candy along the route. We are easily distracted and we trade true, deeper peace for short-term entertainment or fulfillment.

Learning to be still with ourselves can be a very hard thing for many of us to do, because we've been deeply hurt or because we simply have always kept ourselves busy. This is where therapy or a meditation course can prove highly beneficial.

I'm not suggesting that we all become islands, needing nothing and no one. We need food. We need the touch of another human being once in awhile. But the truth remains that everything around us is fading, and the more we grasp onto it, especially people, the more we realize that true peace only comes from deep within.

There is a verse in the Bible that says: "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you."  What I personally take this to mean is that #1: the kingdom of God and what it stands for is complete love. If we simply focus on love - love for ourselves, love for others, love for the world, #2 comes in: all of what we truly need for fulfillment and contentment will be provided for us.

I run away far from these ideals - often daily. But each moment is a chance to begin again.

Mark Andrew Alward