Weekly Reading Topic for June 22, 2019: Come As You Are
Well, good morning, love!
I just opened a Reading for you, my newsletter subscribers and here’s what I heard in answer to the following:
What do my readers most need to hear this weekend? What is the most important message to send to my beloved readers?
The answer was: “come as you are.”
This is a radical permission slip! [See PS: at bottom of page.]
What follows is your Weekly Reading.
Weekly Reading │ Come As You Are
Q: What do you mean, “come as you are?”
A: Oh, now, you naughty things, get your mind out of the gutter!
Or, go ahead, stay in that gutter!
The whole point of this week’s message is to remind Us All that we can no more change our innermost core selves, our innermost being, than we can change the sun.
We should always, always, always, come to the present moment, to our partners, our children, to our face in the mirror, as we Actually Are.
Not as we should be, or would like to be, or think we must be in order to be Acceptable and Proper and Nice.
No. We must Be Who We Are.
This is not a performative process. This is the opposite. This is a still, inner process that just happens to show up on the outside.
To put this in a familiar context, think about the object most present in front of you. If it’s a table, it’s exactly what it is, at all times. It changes, sure, because it is moved across the room, or the light hits it in a certain way, or you put a cup down on it and a water ring forms. But at heart, it’s always a table. Even if you broke it up into matchsticks, it would still be: table. Broken, but table.
If it’s your dog, (not an object, of course … but a perfect Object of Your Attention for this exercise) watch your pup. His face reflects whatever is going on for him at that moment. His posture, his tail, his state of health … these things are all There As They Are.
Your dog comes as he is, to every situation. Not more, and certainly not Less.
If you are looking at a plant, or a rock, or a road, or a rocking chair, notice that these objects are what they are, without effort.
If you are in a biblical mindframe, remember the instruction that Jesus gave at some point, that many people wrote down: Look at the lilies of the field as they grow, for they do not toil or spin. They simply are, and they are beautiful. [That’s a paraphrasing. And “spin” is best translated as “worry.”]
We too are meant to just be, as we are, with no agenda other than to fully Be Ourselves.
What a load of hooey, right? What a tough row to hoe, when we are full of Worries and Anxiety and Depression and We Are All Sure That the World Is Ending.
True. It is tough. It is addictive, to worry, to fret, to think about The Way Things Should Be But Aren’t.
So, if that’s what you are doing, right now, or a lot lately, or five minutes from now: fine. Do it. Worry, and fret. Sink to your knees under the weight of your fear and stress.
Just do it FULLY. Make sure that even in the midst of your fear, you are As You Are.
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Because the nature of being human seems to involve a Brain That Thinks. And THINKS Again. And THINKS SOME MORE. So, we’re very Busy Creatures.
That’s one of the ways we show up as we are: Busy with Thoughts That Do Not Feel Good.
But here’s the secret: if you allow yourself to REALLY embrace that expression of yourself, without trying to control or change it … you gain a measure of control over your expression. Yup, you actually gain power by not trying to control — which gives you control. Sexy, right?
So here’s how it looks in real life. Here’s just one example:
You miss a night’s sleep, worrying over something that is weighing on you.
You go through the next day both worried AND sleep deprived. You feel like 100% excrement. It’s awful.
And then another day, and another, and another — all the same, all piling up on each other.
If you are trying to control this vicious cycle, you will give yourself a pep talk that sounds something like this:
“It’s OK, you’re tired, but you will catch up, just muscle through and keep yourself together, you can make it through, just keep going.”
You work on a stiff upper lip and getting through the day, checking off ALL the items on your list. You keep going day after day, working and grinding through it, pretending that you are all together to yourself and everyone else, when really you are feeling like that 100% excrement.
Or your pep talk sounds like this:
“You are so tired, and it’s only going to get worse after today. It’s a shame that you don’t have yourself together, and that you don’t have control over this situation, because it’s going to lead to this next terrible thing, which will lead to THAT next terrible thing, and on and on, until you’re homeless and living in a gutter, so you better work as hard as you can and avoid that Worst Case Scenario while you have a chance.”
You keep going, day after day, working and grinding and trying to manage the panic and anxiety that is flooding your body, feeling the waters rise and rise until they are threatening to cover your head, and you are just bobbing along, desperately trying to bounce high enough out of the water to get one last gasp of air.
Or maybe you tell yourself this:
“You feel bad, sure, but it’s all in your mind, all of life is a dream, remember? If you just get your supplements right, and your diet right, and your meditation practice right, and you pray hard enough and work on your vision board, you’ll get everything that you want, and this situation that is stressing you out will just resolve itself, like magic, and everything will be perfect, because you are using the Law of Attraction and you will someday see the results.”
And you work and stress and grind every day at being Super Spiritual, at Being a Source of Divine Light, all the while feeling yourself slipping farther away from feeling good no matter how hard you stare at that vision board, no matter how many self-help courses you take, no matter how many affirmations you say.
So. What do we do? How do we end these endless grinds?
We WAKE UP. And realize that no matter where we are, or who we are, or what our circumstances are, we still have a Choice. We are not trapped, even when we find ourselves in desperate circumstances.
The prisoner has a choice about what to read, about what to think, about what to focus on. Is it difficult to make healthy choices? Yes. But it’s still possible. Ask Nelson Mandela. Ask Oscar Wilde. Or Marco Polo. Or Miguel de Cervantes. Or Bertrand Russell, or Wally Lamb. Martin Luther King. The list of books — great books — written in prison is much longer than you would expect.
People who are in cults get out by thinking their own thoughts, in the privacy of their own minds, until they see their opportunity to escape.
Children in abusive homes often find ways to leave, sometimes not while they are children, but later, when they are adults and they decide to cut off their toxic families.
There is no person in the history of Planet Earth who has lived a life free from pain of one sort or another. Not one. You are not so special that you are going to Be the First.
So instead of trying to avoid pain, you must Deal with What Is So You Do Not Create More.
When we allow ourselves to Think What We Think, to Want What We Want, even when we aren’t in circumstances we can influence well, we Come as We Are.
When we Come As We Are we allow ourselves to be fluid, and complex, and simple, and straightforward. We allow for circles and spirals, for straight lines and soft angles. We allow ourselves to unfold in the moment, to be present to our own selves, even when we can’t “make it happen” in the outside world.
We may still experience pain, but we do not experience suffering. Buddha said the first is inevitable, the second is optional.
So how do we experience pain, but not suffering?? We come as we are!
The sleep deprived person allows their self to FEEL their tiredness. And if a good night’s sleep is what they need, it will come, because they are not ramping up their stress hormones trying to pretend that they are not tired.
And if there is a genuine exhaustion underlying their tiredness, they will notice that, and get the support they need to address whatever is going on.
The person who is feeling sad allows their self to FEEL sad. And if a simple phone call with a loved one, or a good long hug makes them feel better, they allow that to be the cure.
And if they notice that is not enough, they throw themselves a Real Pity Party, and give themselves EVERYTHING they really want, including ice cream and fuzzy pajamas and binge watching whatever guilty pleasure they love most.
And if that’s not enough to lift the sadness, they allow the sadness to still be there, and maybe notice that it’s not just sadness, but maybe also, on a deeper level, a low-grade depression, and they will get the support needed to address that.
The person who is feeling hungry will allow their self to FEEL the hunger. And they will listen carefully, and ask their appetite: what is it that you want?
And they will give it to their appetite, and carefully note how that food or drink makes them feel, and notice when they feel sated, and stop then, because they want to Give What Is Wanted, Not What Is Not Needed.
And they will continue to listen to their hunger, and give it Exactly What It Needs, and revel at how their natural hunger finds a way to feed them well, even though they have never really trusted it before.
That’s what this is, people. Come as You Are means: trust yourself.
Trust yourself to be what you need. Trust yourself to be enough.
Trust yourself to be good company for yourself, and therefore good company for others.
Come as you are means allow yourself to Want What You Want and Think What You Think and Feel What You Feel.
Because trying to stop from wanting, thinking, and feeling is frankly, a Big G-D Waste of Time. It’s beneath your dignity. Stop!
And if you still have your mind in the gutter, and you’re giggling a little bit about Come as You Are: good. That’s who you are, and that’s what you want: to come, as you are. Go wild, and enjoy yourself. The world needs people who know how to come, as they are.
We all need that! So …
Go! Wild! And Enjoy Yourself!
COME AS YOU ARE!
I am always here to serve in any way I can.
Much Love to You,
PS: I’m sure I don’t need this disclaimer, but just in case: This Permission Slip Does Not Mean You Are Free to Be a Jerk to Others. It’s a Permission Slip designed you to keep from being a jerk to yourself! And by definition, that will lessen the likelihood that you are ever a jerk to anyone else.
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