As I sit here in my living room at 4:20 am, by my gorgeous fireplace, I contemplate just how lucky I am. I am lucky not because I am well educated, have a supportive husband, or a “good, stable job”, but rather because I know that none of those things define me. My identity, worth, love stem from an inherent and integral part of my aliveness, my Soul, my very essence. I am worthy because I am here. I am a life-force that carries within me the universe, the wisdom of all of life. I am the light of God.
This is the paradigm that I have begun living my life by, knowing it is my birthright. To live in this space, however, requires that I shed all my externally referenced beliefs and begin to rebuild and transform myself into my essence by trusting my innate wisdom and the energetic cues of my body, and acting from that space.
So just what on earth am I talking about? Allow me to attempt to explain.
For the sake of simplicity, I will call the concepts that shape us into who we are “cultural-conditioning” and “essence”. You can think of cultural conditioning as indoctrination, dogma, superego, ideology; you can think of the essence of who we are as as our conscience, the ultimate truth, love, wisdom, unity, God, the pure light within.
In this post I will not be exploring the history of the shaping and conditioning of humanity, as our species has been writing on the topic for generations. I will, however, write about the cultural programming that has been afflicting our species for thousands of years and has, as a consequence, subdued the light within. It is through sustained cultural conditioning human beings are shaped into homogeneity.
From the moment we are born, we are taught about duality, to mistrust our inner wisdom, and to dissociate from our body.
From the moment of birth we are indoctrinated to accept the conceptions of separation that society has deemed appropriate. Everyone knows: girls wear pink, boys wear blue. This identity is imposed on us, and by virtue of imposition is not chosen. Yet, it comes with a set of values, beliefs, and attitudes that shape our entire being and teaches us, in a covert way, about the supposed duality and separation in the world. Good versus bad. Heaven versus hell. Black versus white. Liberals versus conservatives. Animals versus humans. Earth versus technology. Body versus intellect. Rich versus poor. Science versus religion. Them versus Us. By internalizing these unquestioned messages as Truth, we learn that the best way to get accepted by society is to shut up, obey, fit in.
The messages eventually internalized always come from the top-down. It is through our parents, family members, culture, educational, political, and other systems that we learn about reality out there, and reality out there is always external to ourselves, it exists as the story goes independent of ourselves. In other words, how reality is is external to ourselves. We are taught to sacrifice the voice of the inherent knowledge of the Soul in order to be accepted, to fit in. This is how to learn to respond to the world –seeking approval from external referencing for self-worth based on what someone else out there with authority says is appropriate, or not.
In other words, we give up our essence and soul to conform to and embody an imposed identity because society will not tolerate questions or authenticity.
Given that we are taught to silence the wisdom of the body, we have to learn to dissociate from the body. This has serious impacts on our Selves, of course. In the words of infamous John Lennon, “As soon as you’re born they make you feel small / by giving you no time, instead of it all / ’till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all.”To dissociate, disconnect, dismiss, we consume copious amounts of poisonous foods, plague our bodies with numbing narcotics, engage mindlessly for hours on end with technology, lose ourselves in random and meaningless acts of sexual encounters with strangers, compulsively shop despite the never-ending collection calls, run aimlessly until our knees give out.
And yet, the voices in our head and feelings in our gut persist: I am more.
Inevitably this creates a seemingly inexplicable anxiety within us because no matter what we do we can never be enough. Love, the one thing we all yearn for, is offered to us sparingly and conditionally, so we learn to live in craving and in fear. This fear-infused cultural programming is making us distrustful, compulsive, unsafe, uneasy, mindless, emotionless, disconnected, discontent, discouraged, dis-empowered, alienated, isolated, lonely, numb, apathetic, oblivious, ignorant. In this state of learned helplessness we suffer because despite our best efforts, the voice of our Truth can never be fully silenced. Instead, it leaves us with an unexplained longing for something we do not accept we own.
The longer we chose to silence the Soul and deny ourselves the Truth, the more hardened, fearful, and destructive we get.
The more we allow the lies to indoctrinate our beliefs, values, and attitudes along with our strategies, choices and behaviours, the more we lose our essential nature, the more disconnected and discontent we feel, the more we buy into separatist ideologies of war, destruction, and pollution that destroy the only place we can call “Home”.
Baring witness to the suffering of the planet and not being able to understand or process why human beings behave in such self- and eco-destructive ways caused me unbearable suffering. As a product of my society, I aimed to prove I am worthy of love and attention by being a “good girl”, with everything that that entails. But before I even I reached the delicate age of 20 I was plagued by misery, diagnosed with a variety of mental and physical ailments, and became heavily and ruthlessly over-medicated. I spent most of my adult life discontent, disconnected, and uncomfortably numb…despite checking off all the external markers of success.
I knew, in the deep spaces within me, that I was not of this world. I needed to understand. I had a choice–confront the countless contradictions: our democracy is masking oligarchy; our elected politicians are deceiving us; our economy is robbing us; our markets are monopolizing us; our commercials are appropriating us; our commerce is enslaving us; our media is marketing us; our technology is isolating us; our privacy agreements are selling us; our educational system is conforming us; our religious system is indoctrinating us; our Rule of Law is subordinating us; our justice system is caging us; our medical system is poisoning us; our science is nuking us; our environment is polluting us; our ecology is making us go extinct; our globalization is alienating us; our food is malnourishing us; our humane treatments are dehumanizing us — or die.
If everything around me is a lie, then where can I turn to find Truth?
The answer is becoming increasingly clear: within. This is the only space where Truth exists — it is in my body, my heart, my Soul. It is the still place within me that makes me, me. It is in this space that I remember the Truth of who I am. The deeper I go, the more compelling my experience of the ultimate Truth becomes, the more I cannot silence it. Nor do I want to. I have opened Pandora’s box and the truth contained inside is beautifully liberating.
In this internal space I found the Truth I had been looking for my whole life: We Are One. I internalized this indisputable fact with every fibre of my being. We are interconnected and interdependent. We are authentic and vibrant individuals who were all created from the same Breath of Life. We are energy. We are pure light. We are God.
Since I internalized this message of interconnection, I am no longer able to participate in the demoralizing ideologies that plague our species. Instead, I begin to align my life with my essence. In the words of one of my favourite authors, Deb Ozarko, “Essence is the pure and authentic presence of our being.” It is what allows us to live in “integrity, authenticity, individuality, autonomy, joy, freedom, respect, generosity, harmony, vitality, gratitude, caring, compassion, empathy, kindness, competence, and dignity.” It is this space that I now live from, day by day, breath by breath. It is the space where I know I belong, I am welcome, and I am dearly loved.
It is through this internal referencing point that I now chose to live my life from. It is here that I am able to connect to the divine, to all wisdom, to my Self. I have now come to realize that when we deny ourselves this opportunity, we become vulnerable, small, powerless. We believe the ideologies that keep us indoctrinated, and we mindlessly impose them on our children, too, continuing to preserve and add to the inter-generational trauma that takes incredible effort to recognize, never mind reverse. This is precisely how we’ve cultivated a world where money, power, bigger houses, bigger dicks, objectification, games, fancy cars, younger wives, plastic surgery, bigger boobs, smaller wastes, whiter skin, intoxication, animal flesh and excretions consumption as “food”, “followers”, “friends, male attention, consume consume consume, have become our mantras, integral parts of what we value, integral parts of of who we collectively chose to be.
We have the capacity to connect with pure light, the ultimate Truth, bliss, but instead we choose to focus more on Kim Kardashian’s booty.
I, for one, no longer chose to betray my Soul in this way.
I now know that you and I are One, and in our Oneness we are a chain of consciousness linking us back to the very first breath of life. Since we are interconnected, our choices impact the lives of those we share it with. I cannot make a choice for myself that will not have a ripple effect on everyone around me, for generations to come. It is in this realization that our individual and collective power lays. All we have to do is ask the tough questions, search within for the answers, and live in accordance to our Truth. Every person walking this earth is capable of this type of introspection — it is our birthright! Chose question what you think you know, chose to look withing rather than without for answers, chose to believe what you know you know from your Soul. This is the only way to live authentically, to be you, to be fully alive.
- Photo taken by ME!