We’re going to begin and end this blog post with an exercise
We’re going to take this moment to notice our breathing, inhaling slowly through the nose and exhaling fully through the nose. In and out. Appreciating each breath, while I tell you my story.
I was on a spiritual journey for thirty years. I’d read everything that had anything to do with ‘The Way’, the path of capital S self-learning. Know thyself was my mantra. I was diligent in my quest to ‘stay awake’ and believed I was well on my way to spiritual enlightenment. In fact, after thirty years I thought I was one of the most enlightened people I’d ever met.
And then one day, a while after I’d put the beautiful house I’d designed and built up for sale, I realized that I was still attached to it. In fact, I didn’t know who I was without my house. Me, the most enlightened person I knew was still ego
attached to a thing. That was a dark epiphany, an ugly realization for me to make,
and when I think about it I have to remember to a deep breath.
Thankfully there was a benefit to having been on a spiritual journey for thirty years – I’d practiced self-remembering for so long and had the emotional muscles to get to the bottom of why my ego was still attached to the stuff in my life. I went back to all those spiritual books I’d read and went deep into my personal history of self-study. I researched and wrote and dug and wrote.
In the midst of all this digging I participated in a body mind awareness workshop. The workshop leader out of the blue said, “You know you’re the most important person in the room and if you don’t you should” and I was shocked. How dare anyone suggest that I should think I’m the most important person in the room? There were twenty other people in it. I’m a nice person, not a self-centred egotist.
What exactly is wrong with being the most important person in the room?
Except that I was, remember? After the workshop I had to look at my research and digging for answers anew. What did my ego attachment have to do with not wanting to be the most important person in the room? And then I asked myself, “What exactly is wrong with being the most important person in the room?
We’re already divine.
And that’s when my whole life of struggling to be enlightened unfolded in front of me and I could see I’d refused to accept this one message that was in fact central to all the ancient wisdom – that I’m already the centre and the middle of my life, that there’s no where to go or get, I’m already divine. And so are you.
My success was wrapped up in everyone else. I was using the people I love, my career, my house, even my car, to prove I was worth something, because none of my personal value was coming from inside of me. My sense of self, my ego, came from everything outside of me. All the time I was living my life at arms length, as if I was on the outside looking in, waiting for approval, hoping for acceptance.
I put myself second and third and made the needs of others more important because I didn’t want to face the fact that I mattered. I had never learned to take responsibility for my own life. Does that sound familiar?
If so, you probably didn’t learn like I didn’t, or had the idea drilled out of your head by those who benefit from you not knowing you matter.
I Am The Most Important Person In The Room – And So Are You.
That’s why this idea sounds provocative at first, and why it’s a difficult idea to grasp. We don’t want to believe it. It’s too uncomfortable. The idea of most important translated immediately into being more important, selfish, hedonistic. But what being the most important person in your life means, in fact, is that we’re responsible for the choices in our life. All the good and bad. If I am the most important person in my life I can no longer be a victim.
Now if this idea of taking responsibility is just a bit much for you right now, I totally understand. It’s a simple concept but not an easy one to integrate. So let’s end this blog as we began. Take a deep breath in. Allow yourself to breathe fully out. In and out. With gratitude.
This is only the beginning. This is where we start.
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