Osho says “there is no other greater ecstasy than to know who you are” but he left out a critical few words that I would like to add based on hands on personal experience “but it’s damn hard work”.
I’ve been amidst painstaking inventory of myself for a long time and concluded my willingness to know who I am is one of my greatest assets. Sometimes I wonder why I became so willing, but mostly that’s only during the times when I forget my roots, where I came from.
I come from a long lineage of people willing to take the hard look and walk the road in. We’re bred this way I think.. as much as I’d love to take credit for it, my people reflect and dive and sift through and sort their shit out and mostly remain willing to go to any lengths to work hard, tell the truth and love the people.
It’s confronting no doubt. In fact, confronting is a limiting word for how it can often feel. Knowing yourself first requires you looking– at the fat and the frown, at the love and the fruitage. Anne Lamott said it really well: “Here’s how I became myself: mess, failure, mistakes, disappointments, and extensive reading; limbo, indecision, setbacks, addiction, public embarrassment, and endless conversations with my best women friends; the loss of people without whom I could not live, the loss of pets that left me reeling, dizzying betrayals but much greater loyalty, and overall, choosing as my motto William Blake’s line that we are here to learn to endure the beams of love. Oh, yeah, and whenever I could, for as long as I could, I threw away the scales and the sugar.”
Knowing myself means that I have to continually re-write my story because as my understandings change, so does my story. I’m grateful to all the people who keep coming along with me recognizing that my truth and my story are a moving target and that I am in a continuous process of re-calibration, focus and reveal.
I’ve been working on an article about compassion and although within it I use far more words, I conclude that the core of real compassion is all of us willing to see who each other are in this right now moment, without deep ties of judgement to “back then” or “tomorrow”.
The Giving of that space, that’s true love. Ultimate compassion. Far as I can tell.
I have absolutely no other way to get through this life than with Three Steps, One Bow.
And, here’s an interesting article that helps you discover who you are and what will make you happy, check it out.