This is my winning Toastmaster International speech. It is a speech that is meant to challenge you as well as evoke emotion and thought!
What do you think is the ultimate lesson you need to master this lifetime?
I asked my facebook followers this exact question and to my astonishment I got very few and very vague replies. However there was one common thread. Let’s delve into it right away.
I am an eternal seeker of the truth and meaning of life.
From a very young age I have been looking outside of myself for the answers.
Some questions I asked were:
Why does one have to go to school to learn pointless subjects?
Why do school learners need to wear uniforms?
And of great importance to me:
Why was I forced to go to church?
Why are relationships expected to be between a man and a woman?
Krishnamurti was one man that got my full attention. He refused to be seen as a teacher or a leader as he maintained that no-one else can give you the answers. The answers lie uniquely within yourself. This took me a rather long time to comprehend.
One of Krishnamurti’s best known stories was about a woman who repeatedly sought his advice on her life dilemmas. He showed her away every time. His reason being that he couldn’t give her the answers or save her. She had to find the answers within herself.
Most people don’t know who they are as their reality is blurred by the conditioning they have faced throughout their entire life. They probably will turn to others for advice, but what they get is someone else’s ‘perceived reality’. Life then becomes one of doing what is expected of you and people pleasing. They are just too terrified to step away from others perceptions and beliefs.
At the lowest point of my life, which lasted an eternity of three whole years, I was forced to go within and search for this answer. No-one else had the answer to my question.
The one thing that made sense to me was Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s book, Life Lessons
I worked through each lesson meticulously.
But there was one lesson I just couldn’t get past …. forgiving my abusers … my Mother and my Father!
I was engulfed in a black cloud of shame as I played and replayed the story of my childhood.
I went through physical ill health, mental breakdown and such severe pain that I became bed ridden. I had nowhere to hide.
What I realised was that forgiveness is all good and well, but it was self-forgiveness that I needed.
Still there was one missing piece to my gigantic life puzzle.
It was then that Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s question struck a deep cord within me. ‘Lucinda, do you love yourself unconditionally?’ My answer: NO!
It was at this point that I finally found the missing puzzle piece.
It had always been within me and not outside. I feel in love with myself just as I am. No buts, excuses, shame or blame.
I found unconditional love and acceptance within. I became real, vulnerable and truly who I was.
I had “unbecome” all the years of conditioning to become ME!
The pain melted away as I emerged to a new world before me!
These very impressive words by Krishnamurti rang true: When I understand myself, then I understand you and out of that understanding comes LOVE!
Then it came to me: there would be no war, hate or discrimination in our world if each person found unconditional love. If you find this within then only can you truly love and accept others with no judgement or fear.
If you unravel all the conditioning of your life and truly find yourself, then you can find the most treasured and underrated gift of all!
It is the gift of unconditional love that is the biggest kept secret.
So, life’s ultimate lesson is finding unconditional love as a ‘2 way street’. Giving to yourself and others as well as receiving!