Before I dived into learning the law of attraction, I learned from the teachings of Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Jack Kornfield. From Jack I learned so much about knowing, and presence, and this, my favorite quote from him. From TNH, I learned about saying thank you, and how this human form we take on for such a short time is really only an extension of our endless soul-life; and from Pema, the acceptance of groundlessness.
I experienced groundlessness, when I was dumped by a boyfriend right in the middle of the most exhilarating and fulfilling relationship of my life. A year later both my parents died within exactly four months of each other, more groundlessness–or as my sister said, “there’s no coming home anymore.”
Life events like these define groundlessness; a space where there is nothing to grasp on to, nothing to fix it for you, and nowhere to hide. Then there’s the everyday kind of groundlessness; self-doubt, fear, jealousy, boredom, laziness. Don’t let self-righteous zen assholes tell you you’re above all that. You’re still a human being functioning in an uncertain world. You’re not living in a monastery, or fully enlightened, or dead-yet.
With careful attention to ourselves and maybe a few distractions like work or meeting up with friends, we get through these times without self-destructing and even begin to love life just the way it is, groundless beauty and all.
And that is what I thought was my story on groundlessness.
But that story has ended and now I realize I was only dipping my toe in. Now I’m standing in a place where there’s no going back, but forward hasn’t arrived yet. I don’t want anything I have now, and I don’t want anything else either. This is true groundlessness; whole, encompassing, standing-in-the-middle-of-nowhere, what-the-fuck-do-I-do-now, groundlessness. In some ways it feels like freedom, in other ways that are real and physical, I feel straight-jacketed, literally. My arms ache like I am being bound. I grind my teeth in frustration and scowl at my computer all day. It seems no amount of running or yoga can take it away for very long.
The law of attraction says I’m just not ready for what is next. It says the universe is expanding and so am I. The universe just expands wider and faster than I possibly can, so I need to catch up. And the only way I can do that is by spending time feeling the “endlessly expansive joy” that was mine before I was born into my body. It is mine now, and will be mine after my body turns to dust. That can be hard as hell when you are feeling groundless.
But like sand settling into spaces between stones, this is all settling into a greater understanding for me. I’m beginning to gain some insight into how these teachers and ideas have all spoken the same message to me the last several years.
I am here only because of where I was before and I am moving toward the next thing, and in the middle is groundlessness.
l remember Deepak Chopra saying that when we meditate we go inside and connect with ourselves, the self that we were before we were born. But once we are on the outside and start to compare ourselves against other people, other things, what we have or don’t have, we separate from ourselves–our true selves. And now I am hearing that message all around me from all kinds of sources. From the still, small voice inside, from the eagle that flew alongside my car on the highway, and the voices of people I trust, and I know it’s true. Going inside is where we experience “endlessly expansive joy,” and the only place to find real peace in the groundlessness while we wait to catch up with the rest of the universe.