There´s a very beautiful story in Eckhart Tolle´s book “The Power of Now” that explains clearly the human condition and I want to share it with you:
“A beggar had been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a strager walked by. “Spare some change?” mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. “I have nothing to give you”, said the stranger. Then he asked: “What´s that you are sitting on?” “Nothing,” replied the beggar. “Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.” “Ever looked inside?” asked the stranger. “No,” said the beggar. “What´s the point? There´s nothing in there.” “Have a look inside,” insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to pry open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.” Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, 2004 (p.11)
I love this story because it illustrates perfectly our culture. We´re all putting our hopes and even worse, the responsability of our desires, thoughts and actions into something or someone else and we DEMAND that somebody else gives us whatever we NEED to LIVE a good life.
We think that we NEED a certain job to function properly in this world. We think that we NEED to be with someone else to feel happy or complete. We believe that we NEED to look like this or that in order to be accepted in society. All we NEED comes from the exterior (people, stuff, money), from the future (if I become this or if I achieve this then I´ll be happy). Well, that´s a lie. I´d say that instead we should have a look inside and discover the reality of the universe that is you and me and everything that exists.
I used to (well I´m still working on it) feel empty all the time and I´d feel a super strong urgency to fill up my body with something, because I couldn´t bare to feel this incomplete. So I´d desperately want to have the perfect body and be popular and “loved” by everyone, but more than just that I´d be looking for a sense of belonging. I´d be looking for the PERFECT boyfriend, well actually I wanted to feel safe. I´d binge like a motherfucker trying to feel full but I´d never feel full even though my body could not take any more food… I don´t know how to explain it, I just wanted to stop feeling empty.
And I bet you feel like this, maybe not all the time but most of it. It´s always there in the background, as Tolle would say. Well that makes us all beggars. Trying to find what we want or need outside, putting the responsability of your wellbeing into something or someone else, and let me tell you, that´s just fucked up, man. That´s never gonna work. Nothing is ever gonna be good enough or pretty enough or eficient enough. NOTHING, except YOU.
What´s inside of you? What would be left if we remove all the nonsense we babble all day long, if we remove all the crap that our minds are creating nonstop, what would be left? What´s left after all the expectations and fears and depressions and our pasts and futures? What´s left? That´s us. Whatever´s left that´s us. The essence of it all: infinity; the never ending energy and creativity, the realm of all possibilities, everything our minds can´t explain but we can still recognize as true.
That´s the stuff. It´s the greatest treasure of them all and it´s yours. Just have a nice look inside.
I hope you have a beautiful, peaceful night.