“I Think”

As I was lying awake at night for the umpteenth time, I finally realized these are the two main problems in life. At least my life. “I think my email service provider should stop charging extra for telling you who are your most and least active subscribers.” “I think I should work on this piece of writing first thing in the morning.” “I think I need more focus this month, or otherwise I’ll never get anywhere this year.”

I. Think. I think, I think, I think. “I” and “think” are the two constructs most obstructive to inner peace and fully experiencing life as it is.

“I” means the ego is speaking. Not your true self but the character you’ve created and play in the world every day. The ego is self-centered. It is obsessed with survival beyond reason. It wants to accumulate fame, wealth, and pleasure. The ego shuns service, responsibility, presence, and all the other roads that lead to real freedom.

“Think” means your omniscient gut has left the chat. Thinking is the ego plotting its next move. Can you hear the gears rattling in your brain? It’s exhausting, isn’t it? Chasing thought after thought, getting ever more anxious, more worried, more regretful when, supposedly, thinking is the tool meant to lift you out of those holes. Why isn’t it working? For one, even the best tool becomes blunt when you overuse it, and for another, if all you have is a shovel, the only thing you can do is dig deeper. But you don’t need to think to earn your value as a human being. In fact, you don’t need to think at all. If all you do is be present for the life unfolding right in front of you, that’ll be more than enough.

If I give my ego permission to die, if only in my imagination, and I allow myself a break from thinking, I can sense something deeper. Something that dwells within me, and that’s still there when ego and thinking are absent. What is it? A ghost? A spark? The best way I can describe it is as a light of awareness. A glowing ball of sunshine, hovering in the space wherever one’s soul is supposed to sit. If I can feel my way to it, I know immediately: This is the true you at the root of everything. The entity that’s supposed to be in charge but that, ironically, so rarely gets to see the light of day.

I could spend forever curled up in my ball of sunshine, and I’d never feel in a rush to go anywhere. When I listen to its silent guidance, somehow, everything always happens at exactly the right time. Whether life on the outside goes up, down, sideways or upside down doesn’t matter. No one can take my light from me, and wherever I end up, inside my light is always home.

I don’t know how to stay in my light at all times. I don’t know what it’ll take for you to find yours. What shape it will appear in, or which name you’ll choose to give it. All I know is I must encourage you: Take a break from “I.” Take a break from “think.” You might find you’re so much more than ego and brains, and that the questions life truly asks us can’t be answered with either.