Similar but not the same

This being human is a trip. We move in and out of delusion until we take our last breath. A teacher of mine recently shared with me the Buddhist idea of forgetting and remembering. And how humans spend most of our time in forgetting. This makes a lot of sense to me. 

What is it that we forget?

We forget that we are made of stardust. We forget that we matter, that we are miraculous in our biology, creativity and our intellect. We forget that we deserve love, that we deserve to be fought for/advocated for/believed. We forget that the world is a beautiful place, full of divine moments that in our forgetting, we’re numb to the awe of it. We forget that we have to ask for help from others and God (or whatever you want to call the source that sustains life). We forget that when we ask, we will receive. In our forgetting, we repeat mantras of self-loathing and being a victim--and the Universe responds to our mantra--always giving us what we ask for.

When we remember, it is like a wave of gentle love that washes right through us. Often times coming after a storm and it cleansing us from head to toe. We remember all the wonder and beauty of existence and we ignite with the light that results from knowing (not thinking) we are LOVE, we are lovable, we are worthy, we matter, we are special, sacred, beautiful. When we remember, the world reflects these awe-filled knowings back to us--because our mantras are about love, connection and understanding.

Then we forget again. Until we remember… and forget… and remember.

Each time we remember, we shift. We move from a cyclic pattern to a spiral. From above and below it looks like we're moving in the same cycle again and again. But, when we get perspective, when we step away from our “good and bad” perspectives, we see the intricate spiral we’re creating with our intention and effort to remember more often. Patterns look the same for as long as we need them to. For as long as we hold out on learning the lessons forgetting offers… and until we embrace the blessings of remembering.

And as we circle back around to a wound, a trauma, a story… it feels, looks and smells like the original pain. It is so similar that it is difficult to remember, it is not the same. How we respond to it, if we apply our forgetting or our remembering, determines our growth in the moment. We cannot jump out of the lesson, which we all try to do with a bevy of habits and addictions that offer instant forgetting. For peace and movement, we must be present with what is… and remember.

Strangely, it is the remembering we fear. The admitting to ourselves of our own inherent beauty, brilliance, importance. Certainly, remembering brings with it things we’ve kept in the shadows for a long time and reuniting with those pieces of ourselves can be deeply painful. But the pain is temporary and by being present with it, can we release it for good. Only in remembering can we replace that previous source of pain, with inspiration and wisdom. It is the difference between taking a painkiller to numb the pain (forgetting) or healing the disease itself (remembering).

The pull to forget and engage the world from that place is intoxicating. In part because that is where our addictions live. It seems like an impossible notion that we can have a different story, release triggers, and eliminate patterns that don’t serve us. But we can. We just have to work at remembering as much and as often as possible.

Today, I remembered. And I am grateful.