I saw this on Facebook the other day, and I liked it enough to download it to my phone. These days picture downloads to my phone are reserved for quotes that really inspire me or adorable pictures of my friends’ kids that make my hypothetical uterus hurt. This post is the former.
There is a decent amount of helpful wisdom here, and whether or not it is actually Sanskrit wisdom, I found it valuable. The point that struck me the most was number 6. For those who skimmed or those who will have to glance back to remember what 6 was, I’ll just retype it.
“6. ‘There’ is no better than ‘here.’ When your ‘there’ has become ‘here’, you will simply obtain another ‘there’ that will, again, look better than ‘here’.”
I realize that this is a fancy version of “the grass is always greener”, but for some reason the different wording gave it a new appearance.
This concept is something that I have become more conscious of in myself over the past year or two, especially when it comes to dating and relationships. At its root is something that I believe every human being does from time to time, and is something that is making people miserable. It’s the underlying belief that if we can only obtain _________ (insert something shiny and new here), then we will be happy and fulfilled. Life will be good, and we’ll hit that elusive state where everything is just right.
We do this with stuff all the time. The capitalist revolution of the last thirty years has turned us from citizens to consumers, and everywhere we look is the promise of “buy this, and then you’ll be happy.” It’s that surge of excitement and lust when we see the unveiling of the new iPhone, and that flush of resentment and envy when someone else gets it first. It’s the urge that sends us time and time again to Amazon and Etsy, and keeps us consuming when we really don’t need, or even want, whatever we’re buying.
We do this with ourselves too. This one takes a slightly different form, though. It’s more of a “when I am ________ (insert something shiny that could be you! here), then I’ll be happy. This belief is more powerful than the one that gets us to hoard stuff, though this is definitely used against us to get us to believe we need to buy something. The blank in this belief takes many forms. When I am thinner, buffer, smarter, straight, tanner, richer, more spiritual, educated, debt free, prettier, more handsome, in a relationship, employed, successful, the reigning pokemon champion, famous, and whatever the hell else we can possibly conceive. This false belief convinces us that when we are like some wonderful ideal, then we’ll have happiness. Then we’ll hit nirvana, zen, enlightenment, whatever.
I’ve caught myself doing that with dating, too. There’s a voice that is so subtle it doesn’t even use words that says “when you’re with this guy, or, if you could get that guy, then you’ll be happy. Then you will be more.” As I’ve become more aware of this influence, I’ve realized that the deep drive beneath it is the erroneous belief that if I could just find a guy that’s hot enough, mature enough, successful enough, etc. etc., then I will be more. The desire isn’t to be in the relationship with that kind of person, it’s to be different, better, because of it. And that difference, whatever it might be, is what I truly desire deep down.
Eckhart Tolle is an author who writes and speaks about this idea a lot. He makes the claim that no matter what, we will never get to this place where we have enough, are enough, date someone who makes us enough. This is because we are buying into a lie that is a human epidemic. The lie is this: You are not enough. This lie is so powerful, he says, because the ego (the voice in our head, the mind that does the thinking) is already in a constant state of threat, believing that it is going to be annihilated. The problem for us is when we believe that voice in our head to be us, and thus believe that we are threatened by our “not enough-ness”.
But it isn’t us. The true us, he says, is deeper. It cannot be improved or reduced, because it is already in a state of perfection and “enough-ness”. The trick is to stop believing the voice in our head, stop believing that it is us, and find the deeper awareness that is within us. That state of peace and wholeness and contentment exists within us already. We don’t need to buy it, become it, or date it. We have to find it, in the quiet recesses of our souls.
An idea, ironically, that is number 9 on the Sanskrit rules for being human.
So get off of ebay, stop stalking that guy you don’t actually want to date, quit trying to get your parents’ approval, and enough with the frantic struggle to be enough. Because you are. And I am. Nothing you can acquire or become will make you happier. When you connect with that deeper sense of awareness all those anxieties and fickle desires fall away. What you’re left with is the deep sense of worthiness, of being enough, and the joy of the present moment.
We are enough, and we’re enough right here, right now.