Suffering is caused solely by the mind, not by external circumstances or physical limitations, therefore recovery from paralysis and walking will not eliminate my suffering. A truth I have been speaking about a lot recently. I figured to fully embrace and enjoy my future recovery, and the plethora of experiences I will one day undergo, it was necessary that I transcend my suffering through spiritual liberation. I did not like the thought of suddenly recovering from paralysis, then being thrown into a world of anxiety over having to face a new reality. But is the only answer to this dilemma enlightenment? Must I be fully liberated to transcend my fear?
Yes, some level of spiritual enlightenment may be necessary for me to completely transcend fear, but I realized recently that while I am yearning for self-realization, I am also simply yearning for self-confidence. For the ability to step outside my front door, and be honest with what I truly want and desire, and go after it, willing to be vulnerable, willing to be embarrassed, and willing to fail and succeed. I do not believe enlightenment is necessary to achieve this type of confidence. I believe confidence to be a human trait that can be gained through experience, through putting yourself out there over and over again, until fear no longer controls you.
My cave of peace has been very rewarding. The great spiritual masters throughout time would not have spent years and years in meditation if this type of solitude was not beneficial for the path towards spiritual liberation. My cave of peace will be with me always, but I cannot allow my cave to be become a cage, protecting me from the outside world, from wants and desires unfulfilled, from awkward situations, and unconquered fears. Soon it will be time to gather and ground myself in the spiritual energy I have created, and go forth, armored with the spiritual tools I have refined and sharpened.
In the past this has frightened me, but lately it seems as if a seed of courage has been planted inside my belly, and has grown roots. I’m feeling a deep yearning to face fears, to build confidence in myself, in who I am, and what I have to offer to the world. It makes me happy to realize that it is not necessary for me to gain enlightenment to become this person, but this does not mean I will not continue to strive for this goal. In fact, reaching for enlightenment will also help me to be more confident and self-assured, it likely already has, but it is only through liberation that I will completely transcend all fear, all ego, and live in a state of love and compassion. There are plenty of confident people out there in the world, but most do not live in a state of love. It is the love which is my ultimate goal.
Many years ago, I made it a point to constantly face fears. Looking back on it, it seemed like a valid stage in my progression, but more of a novice level of spirituality. Now here I am, coming around full circle, once again ready to befriend fear, to look it right in the eye, and conquer it. It is impossible to say what an individual person should and shouldn’t be doing on their spiritual path. One person may need a particular experience or mode of operation, while someone else needs the complete opposite. There is no linear series of steps that each person must make on the path of spiritual growth. For many years now, I have existed more in a state of solitude, finding peace alone in contemplation, realizing that I needed nothing but my own spirit to bring me comfort. That is what my spirit needed, that is what was necessary for my unique manifestation to move forward on my path.
Did I always understand this? Of course not. The human mind will rarely understand what exactly is going on. We think, we see, we taste, we feel, but how much do we truly understand and know about the true reality? So very little. When we realize how little we understand, it’s easy to get frustrated, to yell and scream, and pitch a fit. But even during these times, when nothing makes sense, it is quite possible that tremendous spiritual evolution is taking place. Especially if one is dedicated to the search, and desires to achieve the God-given sight, that will allow you to see things as they really are.
My limited human sight is currently staring at a pot of water on the stove. As I wait for this water to boil, little tiny bubbles are rising to the surface, but when the heck is that water going to boil?! The longer I stare, the longer it seems to take, but I know it will eventually boil, just like I know I will eventually walk again. And while I may not understand the timing of it all, while I may get frustrated with my inability to truly see and understand the meaning of all this, I know that my spirit is not standing still. It never does.