There is so much that I have yet to understand about this world. Like the old saying goes, the more I learn, the more I realize I have no clue.
This post will probably end up more spiritual than anything I’ve ever written. It’s not quite educational in nature; rather, it’s me just trying to hash things out so they make sense to me. Some may disagree, and that is okay. I make no apologies for it. We all have the right to believe in whatever or whomever we so choose.
While I do believe in a higher power, I don’t consider myself religious. I have purposely exposed myself to many different faiths, but have not found one that suited me. Ironically, though, religion is one of my favorite subjects to talk about. Listening to many different ideologies allows me to pick and choose what fits my personal schema. I am non-religious, and multi-religious at the same time (a walking contradiction, like Starburst).
One particular thing that has fascinated me has been the view of the afterlife. Not to be morbid (as I do have a tendency to go there), but since I was a tiny child, I have been curious about what happens to us once this life is over. Do we go to heaven? Are we reincarnated? Why do we so often feel untouchable, when our lives are so fragile? For a long time, I believed the only things we truly had were our heartbeats.
This weekend, that changed.
I had the pleasure of attending 5Sigma held at Anastasis Academy in Colorado. There, I met and/or reunited with great friends, both new and old. As expected, I facilitated a session about EduMatch. As expected, my friends on Voxer (link to #EduMatch group) had my back once again, as I had a crazy last-minute idea to include the voices of educators from around the country. What I did not expect was to have my mind blown.
Well actually, yes I did, but not in this way.
Towards the end of the afternoon, there was a session with a featured speaker by the name of Tusta. He spoke softly, and captivated the room full of people. Even I, a person who may as well surgically attach an iPhone to my right hand, clung to his every word. His message was simple but profound: to find happiness within.
Yes, I have heard this message before, but this was the first time it truly resonated with me. One particular piece of wisdom was when he talked about how nearly everything in this world is external. “I am a soul,” he said. He expanded on that idea by noting how we generally refer to things in the possessive. We say things such as, “My house. My car. My brain. My body,” and not, “I house. I car. I brain. I body.” What then, exactly, am “I”?
Simple. I am a soul.
We are all souls. This ties in with the ideology of many of the world’s systems of belief, from Islam, to Christianity, to Buddhism, and beyond (at least to my understanding…I do not claim to be an expert). In some religions, people pray to ancestors who have since passed away. Some people speak of ghosts who walk among us. Even looking from a purely scientific perspective, the law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Thus, when we die, “we” must go somewhere.
With so many perspectives backing this idea, I personally am hard-pressed to dispute it. I haven’t been able to get this idea out of my head. Whereas my answer regarding most spiritual questions is typically, “I have no idea,” this is something that I can firmly say that I believe.
After accepting this as my truth, I have been ruminating on this idea for the past couple of days. As we all know, for the time being, every”body” dies. We don’t know what the future will hold, with all the technological advances and whatnot. Exploring that option would be a blog post in itself, so I will hold off on going down that rabbit hole.
I came to a wild conclusion. It’s not a far leap to think of our bodies, and those of others, the same way that we would think of any other long-term, yet temporary, possession, such as “I Car” (joking). Wouldn’t that make life so easy? While some shallow individuals may judge others on their cars, most people see them for what they are…a mode of transportation. I drive a Ford Focus, and though it’s not a BMW or Audi, I still love my little red car.
Believe me, I know our world is nowhere near ready for this, with all of the prejudice, injustice, and -isms…I will save more of that discussion for part two. However, I challenged myself to take on this viewpoint, just to see what would happen.
Today, I put this new philosophy into action, and found it quite liberating. If theoretically I can maintain this attitude, it may be the first step towards shedding years of baggage. For most of my life, I have struggled with self-inflicted issues that I am now looking back and categorizing as external. How many years have I wasted, looking down at the ground, not believing myself to be pretty enough, or thin enough, or just “enough”? All of that time, I should have been holding my head high; and while I have been doing a better job of this over the past few years, again I ask, how many wasted years? I wish I could share this feeling with every girl and boy, woman and man, who have ever dealt with similar issues.
I am not my body…but my body is me (to be continued).
Part Two coming soon (hopefully).