I was listening to an interesting talk the other night by one of my favorite people, Michael Singer. The topic of the talk was, “Reality is okay with me”. Right away I noticed I had some resistance to this idea. How could reality be okay with me, especially in the times we are currently living through. In the midst of death, disease, violence, civil unrest and environmental degradation, reality seems anything other than okay. In fact, thinking it was okay seemed outrageous.
I was interested to see where this topic would go. I’ve listened to enough talks by Michael Singer to know I always come away with a plethora of aha moments. As expected, in the end, what he offered was a real eye opener in a multitude of ways. What I love most about the way in which Michael Singer conveys a meaningful message is his simplicity of explanation. It is always free of convolution and complication. He’s an expert at providing the straight forward truth.
The truth he served up this particular evening was no exception. I’ll do my best to convey the nuggets of goodness he shared in this interesting talk. The basic premise he started with was the fact that every single thing every single person does, they are doing out of fear. We are either afraid of not getting what it is we decided we need to be okay or we are afraid of losing what we managed to get to make ourselves relatively okay. This sounds normal because everyone is doing this, but it is living in defense mode. In this way we set up a struggle with life where we are trying to get things to be a certain way so that we will feel less fear. Have you ever noticed it doesn’t work?
If there is any particular way life has to be for us to be okay, by definition we are not free. We can’t be free when we need life to be a certain way. We create a full-time lifelong job for ourselves by trying to manage what needs to happen for us to feel less fear and more safety. He suggested that we each make a commitment to take the road less traveled and to stop blaming our lack of well-being on the outside world. Stating that the real work is to realize that as long as our inside peace is conditional on the outside world we will be condemned to a miserable life.
Michael’s suggestion was that we start to engage with life on very different terms. Using the everyday events of life to break us open to a deeper and truer experience of reality. Anytime anything happens that affects our psyche, heart or mind we remember we want to use our lives to liberate and free ourselves to be unconditionally okay. Essentially at the moment of discomfort we say to ourselves, “Here is a condition that has challenged my okay-ness – I am going to let go of whatever is inside of me that can’t handle this condition”.
Notice that this does not mean we aren’t engaging fully in life. Things will happen and unfold in the world around us and we interact with them. The difference is that we have shifted our focus to “I want to be okay no matter what” instead of “I need things, people, events to be this way in the world so that I feel okay” – this is 180-degree difference in every possible way. If we continue to separate out the good, bad, right, wrong, pleasant and unpleasant we are out of harmony with truth. The truth is that life has unfolded for 13.8 billion years and we are here experiencing it for a few decades. Whether or not we like the circumstances that are unfolding is irrelevant.
The way to get rid of fear, according to Michael, is to not be afraid of it. When we realize that we are okay no matter what we will see that fear can’t hurt us. It is just an experience like everything else in life. This won’t be easy. It’s not supposed to be. We have habit formed tendencies that tell us to change the outside to feel better inside. This path is the road less traveled, but once you know it’s really the only path that works, we have a choice to make. Are we ready to stop doing what will never work in exchange for living in harmony with true reality and the freedom it offers?