I am fascinated with life. So much. Maybe because I was born a contemplative. Thus it is natural for me to just sit and think about the way life goes. If I were born athletic, I would have been more physically active then.
My thirst to answer the enigma of life lead me to know people who were ahead of me and had mastered their life fully. One of them is an Indian Jesuit priest named Anthony de Mello. De Mello’s book “Awareness” has been with me for two decades. Until now I am still learning from it. At times I hated it. Other times I love it. All because I once believed that it is enough to know a thing; and when you acquire that knowledge you are all set with life. But no. God designed the world in ways not favorable to us. God does not like shortcuts. If He does, He would have brought us all to heaven safely; with no scars, no bruises and carry no heavy burdens. But God wants us to dig our roots so deeply under the ground. That is why He sends storms, and hails, and fierce wilderness winds to make us strong. This is what I have difficulty learning. And thankfully I did.
What I have learned much from Anthony de Mello and other enlightened gurus is the ability to unlearn what has been learned. At first I did not know how this works. Slowly, deliberately I learned first hand the lesson: Who I am is not my own making. I become what I am because of how my parents shape me, how the culture molds me, and how society treats me. The funny thing is these outside forces do not know what they are doing. They just followed what others ahead of them did. And yet, they believe they did the best thing there is. Upon stumbling this reality, I come to realize that there is no need for me to hate myself for not being good enough. There is no need for me to strive to be perfect. The moment I hit this point I was left with to choices: should I continue to be the person shaped by the outside forces or should I become the person I believe I am?
This is the very hard part in processing myself. I have grown to be that person that others see. But it is so hard also to be confronted by another being that I see in the mirror so suddenly. Yet, it is so much liberating to know that I am far better, far greater than my previous self. However, there is also a downside to this awakening. It is only me who uncovered my greatness within. My parents, my siblings, my acquaintances and my friends still treat me the way they used to treat the old me. No need to tell them my transformation. They would not believe. Perhaps they might notice that something weird is happening. But they care less.
I did not lose heart then. I slowly live the person I love to be. And you know what? God comes to the rescue. He put me in a situation that could have shattered me. The moment I step out of that vulnerable situation unbruised, unhurt and strong they come to realize that I am far greater than who they think I am. That was a milestone for me. I have proven that I have unlearned what I had previously learned about myself.
This inspired me to crave for more about life. If I can make something beautiful out of this ordinary life I live, perhaps I could make a little difference in this world. I hope we will all do.
Have a purposeful day!