We head through life listening to stories in our head that took form in our younger years.
An imaginary self, this storyteller who talks all day long, thinks about life rather than living it and never really becomes truly conscious.
A continual pattern of mental habits, same thoughts and same stories about life rather than living it and struggles with almost everything.
When an obstacle presents itself, we try to control it, get rid of it or just want it to be different than it is.
What heals the struggling self is consciousness.
This happens whether the challenge is for minor instances (someone pushing in to be served before you in a line) or more significant (like losing a job, getting cancer or dealing with loss of a loved one).
Our obstacles are here to teach us, to discern what is important and what is not … most of what concerns us doesn’t really matter, but the stories that we tell ourselves, are stories that we took on when we were young.
Becoming a conscious or more mindful being is learning how to see and be with “what is”. What heals the struggling self is consciousness.
To paraphrase Rumi’s popular poem “The Guest House” … every morning , a new arrival shows up (such as fear, anger, sadness, loneliness, despair, happiness, love or joy). Rumi invites us to meet each of these at the door laughing, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond to clear us out for some new delight.
Rumi is telling us that living consciously is not being a victim to what is happening but actually bringing curiosity to what is showing up – all of it. Since our attention is usually caught in the stories in our head, we have to be reminded again and again that we are not these struggling selves we mistakenly believe we are.
Who we really are can be with whatever we are experiencing. It is the difference between saying, “I am afraid” and “Fear is here.”