Yesterday morning in our YOI (Year of Inquiry) Tuesday group we began looking at The Worst That Could Happen, our topic for the month.
It’s not easy.
Often the way the human mind works is that it will flash images of that worse case scenario, and also chatter (or scream) at you about how you better make sure to prevent it or do everything you can to try.
Then your mind will also say “You have to stop thinking about this! Control yourself! What’s wrong with you?!”
When people think of the worst case scenarios that could happen in their lives, just the very exercise of calling this forth can be stressful, troubling.
Why think about that? Don’t we have enough stress as it is, with regular life, not to add in MORE drama and trauma? Jeez, are you trying to bring me down?
But returning and considering my greatest fears, many times now using The Work, has been a way to stop, wait, pause, investigate and actually melt that pain.
While people had very disturbing worst case scenarios in our group yesterday…..death of those we love, destruction, loss, suicide, trapped…..one brave inquirer focused on losing all possessions, money, assets, and her home.
Can you imagine it?
It’s an alarming idea for many. Owning nothing, having nothing.
Let’s look at a very simple, very painful thought, that appears for so many at some time in our lives. It doesn’t necessarily have to be losing your savings, or house. It may be your marriage, your youth, your family, your sanity, your freedom.
You lost it.
Is that true?
Yes. I once had a big beautiful house. I once was a child who never worried about money, or body image (which plagued me in my twenties). I once had two young children and an intact family. I once had a leg without huge scars in it from 250 stitches, accidents and cancer. I once had a dad who was alive.
I lost them all.
Can I absolutely know that it’s true, that I lost them?
No. First of all, I do remember all these things, I remember them before, and after. I feel the joy of having had them, and now, I have something different. I know everything in this entire world is temporary, everything changes.
Second of all, I’m not sure who the “I” is who lost something. Even if I did know who or what “I” was, I definitely can’t know that “I” lost it.
So how to I react when I think the thought that I lost something, or that I COULD lose something around the next corner?
Sad, terrified, anxious, full of plans, controlling my environment, expending energy on keeping things together. Spending time thinking about losing stuff, distracting myself from believing this, talking myself down.
Quick! Think about something nice!
When I was a little kid of about 8 years old, my dad told me I could think about something pleasant if I woke up having a nightmare. I thought of a dancing ballerina wind-up music jewelry box.
But it didn’t really work all that well. I’d feel the haunting nightmare over my right shoulder, while staring into the spinning ballerina and hearing the music in my mind, kind of like stuck between the two paradigms. Believing both were possible.
It helped a little. Maybe.
With the thought that loss is possible? Panic. Worry. Sadness.
Who would I be without that thought though? Not as an act of dancing ballerina, but instead seeing this thing full on that I am calling loss: no house anymore, no money, no car, no health, no family. It’s gone.
But I don’t have the thought that it is lost.
I sit for a moment. I watch the mind rattle that idea around. I look around, even right now, typing as rain hits the window pane. The quiet room pulsing with life. Lights, cup, table, fingers.
Without the thought that if something is gone, it MEANS that it is LOST….
….a very small chuckle, a kind of pin prick of light enters in the back of my mind. Sort of behind, from somewhere in the distance, and yet not the distance. A fluttering in the center of my chest. Tears almost choking up into my throat, but they are oddly joyful, a warm buzzing heat through my whole body.
Nothing is lost.
I found it.
Could this be as true, or truer?
Like the moment in the movie Titanic when Leonardo Dicaprio unhooks from the destroyed piece of floating ship raft, and his frozen body sinks and fades into oblivion, into the ocean. Not lost. Found.
“Nothing ever goes wrong.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
What if all these things lost me?
I try on this turnaround. They lost me. I became unhooked from those stories, I stopped knowing which way was up or down, I fell backwards, I relaxed, I stopped pushing forward, I surrendered, people helped me.
In that terrible moment of the Worst Case Scenario, how would I know it’s not really the best case scenario? Maybe death, letting go, endings, giving up, hands opening, stopping….maybe these are where we are going anyway, all of us. No choice in the matter.
All I know is, when I lost my house, my money, most of my possessions….it was a wake up call of a lifetime. It rocked and shook things up so deeply and I came to a fork in the road where I could HATE myself or LOVE myself, and everyone involved.
I could find fault with others and this situation, and with myself….or not.
I did The Work, and I couldn’t choose anything but love, or I would have been lying.
Since I “lost” everything, I have gained confidence, clarity, aliveness, energy, freedom, creativity, an inner silence that is unshakable (so far…mostly), and a sense that I can handle just about anything that was never before felt. I have a thriving and growing business doing The Work. I’m writing a book. I have zero debt with the exception of one mortgage, that I’m paying off.
Would I trade that, for having that house and money that I “lost” back?
No. Thank you.
“That’s why you usually have a good laugh, because you realize that all your struggles were made up. You conjured them up out of nothing–with a thought that was linked to another thought, that was then believed, that linked to another thought that was then believed. But never could it have been true, not for a second could it have actually existed. Not ever could you have actually suffered for a reason that was true–only through an imagination, good, bad, indifferent.” ~ Adyashanti
If you’d like to go on a journey exploring your stories about MONEY starting next week at 5:15 pm-6:45 pm pacific time, join me for an 8 week trip. It may change your entire story. It sure changed mine.
We start 4/16 and end 6/4….but you can keep going after that.
And the story might get better and better.
Much love, Grace