Every year I make it a point to re-read two of my favorite books. These books truly speak to my soul and I always am drawn to read them during times where I am in a period of transition, or I need peace and guidance. The books are:
TL;DR: The premises are similar. Both are tales about boys becoming men. These men are determined to find their true calling in life, and understand its meanings. They journey through challenges and experiences to recognize that the power, answer, guidance, path and wisdom they are seeking resides inside of them.
I brought Siddhartha with me on my recent trip to Portugal, I know, tough life. I knew it was time to re-read, and also knew that the short book would be one that could fit in my purse and carry on easily. I re-read it this afternoon and admired the simple and new messages that spoke to me this time around. Every time I crack the book open, I gain new knowledge and insight.
Today, this passage, in particular, stood out:
“When someone is seeking, it happens quite easily that he only sees the thing he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because he is only thinking of the thing he is seeking, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal. You, O worthy one, are perhaps indeed a seeker, for in striving towards your goal, you do not see many things that are under your nose”
If you truly think about it, we mostly start to seek when one of the following life events occurs: change, death, rebirth, the feeling of being stuck. Seeking starts when we are open and receptive to seeing without our blinders. We become aware that there is “something bigger out there”, and I don’t mean aliens. I mean there is something bigger out there for ourselves.
Seeking experiences, friendships, new scenery, lovers and loves, empathy and compassion are all apart of the wonderful human experience. We spend our lives seeking to get answers to some of the deepest questions. The funny thing is, is the answers to life’s toughest questions usually reside within our soul. If we sit quietly and trust our inner guidance, we will usually find the answer we are looking for.
Siddhartha’s journey takes him on a path of self exploration in which he encounters lust, greed, narcissism, forgiveness, kindness, and mindfulness. When he starts to sit with himself and search inside to understand the why, he finds the answers and ultimately finds enlightenment. His path, his journey, his life experiences have enabled him to confidently trust his ability to stay true to his character, and when he veered off track, he eventually is directed back on course.
I’d love to provide some brilliant response to the question “will we ever stop seeking?” but I don’t think it exists. I think we will always remain in a state of seeking. The challenge presents itself by determining when we are ready and open to seek. When life spirals in a cyclical manner, we begin to feel like we are Alice falling down the rabbit hole.
When we are open to seeking for lifes answers, thats when life begins to shift and change. We’ve all heard the stories of our friends. They go a little something like this:
- “I met my significant other when I stopped seeking and just started doing the things I love”
- “I got my job by following my passion”
- “I lost weight when I significantly shifted my habits and patterns”
When we release the grasp of holding on to seeking and seeking to find the answers, we succumb to the beauty and organic unfolding that life has to offer. This is when we shout to the universe that our most authentic self is willing, ready and able to being open to receiving. The answers appear to us in the form of repetitive messages, behaviors and signs from the universe. They are guiding us along our path and confirming we are on the right track.
More often than not, seeking leads us down the path of the unknown. The dark road in the forest that twists and curves, sometimes the road is clear, sometimes fog covers the space and we can only see about a foot in front of us.
That is ok.
You are still on the path.
Trust that the road is still there to guide you.
And know, that the answer resides inside you.
Originally published at medium.com