The Greener Grass

Part of my struggles with anxiety and depression stems from the feeling that I’m a victim of my environment or “someone else”.  I often think during one of my “thought battles” that I wouldn’t be this way if only “someone” would truly understand what’s happening and could give me the magic antidote to make it all go away.  If only I had a better paying job, if only I could get my business off the ground, if only clients would see the value of my services and flock to my door, if only “that person” would have told me the whole truth, I wouldn’t be in this situation, if only… if only I could get to the greener grass.  Being the victim is certainly a safe place to be.  This absolves me of all responsibility to own how I am reacting to the challenges before me.  It’s not my fault for feeling this way… or is it?

I find myself challenged with a situation or possibly something someone has said to me in an off-hand comment, and that’s all my ego needs to dig in and drag me into the personal hell that is custom built for me.  Mind you, I don’t go down kicking and screaming.  Nope, I go quite willingly and along the way I’m doing whatever I can to please my ego, to make sure it finds favor in me.  After all, my ego is my best friend right?  It knows all the horrible things that people have done to me over the years.  It knows exactly how to console me and give me all the empathy I want.  Ego understands how to support me and give me a safe place to curl up and be protected from all the evil in the outside world.  Why would I ever want to leave this place?  Well there is something missing here, but I’m not sure what it is yet.  I am tired of feeling the way I am and ego has told me that if I just sink lower into my hell, I won’t FEEL anything anymore.  Isn’t that what you really want?  You want it to all be over – to end.  But yet… what is it that I feel is missing… what?

What I didn’t see on the way to my hell is a small Light that has tagged along with me.  This Light has very deftly dodged detection of ego.  It was just on the other side of me always hovering next to me, but just out of sight.  Each time ego would look away or get distracted thinking about how powerful it feels, the Light would sneak up to my ear and whisper, “you are perfect”, “you are loved”, “so many people you don’t even know love you”, “you are inspiring to many”, “you make a difference each day”, “the world is a better place with you here”, “your family depends on you”, “give it another shot my friend”, “you have power to change the world”… On and on this Light would zoom up and whisper to me, then dart away just in time not to be detected.

On the way down to my hell, the darkness would surround my eyesight only giving me a very small bit of tunnel vision to see.  The darkness blocks out all my hope and only allows me to focus on my fear all the while making me think I was safe in my despair.  But each time the Light would whisper I would see a brief flash, a glimpse of a wider, clearer vision with an undeniable truth behind what it was telling me.  Each time I would be reminded of how much I am loved by my family, by my friends.  With each flash I would raise my head up and look for the next one.  Slowly I feel something stirring inside my chest, it’s warm and open like the blue sky on a hot summer day.  Is this hope I am feeling?

Then ego starts to get suspicious.  It wonders why I’m being so active, why am I looking around, why am I seeing things it can’t see.  It goes into action quickly, reminding me again and again why I am there, after all it’s done for me to keep me safe and away from the pain of the world.  But it’s too late at that point.  The Light has now taken hold of my attention now and I find myself breathing deep.  I find myself feeling the Love that was always there.  I FEEL!

Now the Light doesn’t have to be so crafty.  The Light has now grown in size and brightness.  It is showing me the way out of hell and giving me all the strength I need to lift myself up, to smile and laugh and know that I have won another battle and I have come out even stronger than before.  I have even picked up some more gifts along my journey in the form of wisdom.  I am even better prepared for the next time ego finds a foothold in my thoughts and wants to be “friends” with me.  My vision to see the deception of ego is stronger than ever.

So what’s the point?  Ego and fear will always be there in the darkness looking for a way to grab hold of any weakness it sees.  The ego is the great illusionist, the pimp feeding my addiction to fear.  Fear is the evil we all experience in our own personal hell, but the reality of it all is that it really has no power over the Light.  It will lie and tell you it has power, and you might even believe it for awhile, but ultimately it can not sustain the illusion.  The Light is powerful, it will never leave us no matter what.  The darkness will leave you in an instant if you only tell it to in the name of the Light.

When you find yourself walking back down the path to your hell, always remember that the Light is still there with you.  The Light will always bring you home – there is no other possibility.  Be on the lookout for the flashing reminders and take heed that the Light is there for you.  You only need to notice.

Dwight Raatz

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