Dwelling Deeper Within

Discontent.
Restless.
Call it depression, if you will. 
Nothing satisfies.
Everything has lost its appeal.

“It seems that I’ve completely fallen out of love. Nothing impresses me anymore.” -4/9/09

The well-meaning Christians always told me that this feeling was an indication that I needed to “press in” more with the Lord. The world and all it offers will never satisfy the deep hunger within.

I suppose there’s some truth to that, but before I even revisited that memory/thought, I was gripped with the new realization that what I really want is to go deeper within myself. 

Unfortunately, I’ve used my faith as a way to avoid myself. I actually thought that was the point. I’m too focused on myself, I need to seek God. When I would get hit with this feeling of emptiness, I would try to fill it up with prayer/worship music/Bible reading, but often with little result. Sometimes I could muster up a spiritual high, but it dropped me right back down into the depths of my own void. I can see now that the true disconnect is within myself. 

I keep pushing outwards. I keep seeking all that is without me. I keep searching for all the externals to fill up my internal emptiness. And it feels very weird to admit that God is included in that. God is absolutely an external concept. He’s not me, therefore, He’s outside of me. He may very well dwell inside of me, but there’s still the understanding that He and I are not one in the same. 

Here now, let me freely admit to myself and to the world: I’m not in search of God. I’m in search of myself. Always have been. The search for God is ultimately a search for myself. I’ve long been convinced that I could only be found in God, so in order to find myself, I must first find God. I’ve convinced myself I seek God for the sole purpose of knowing God, when all along my (not so) hidden agenda was really to find and know myself.

I think any true search for God will lead one to one’s own doorstep. It’s inevitable, inescapable. A search for divinity will always lead to the divine aspect of humanity. As a creation of the Divine, we carry the DNA of divinity within our very cells.

“I searched for God and found only myself.
I searched for myself and found only God.”
-Rumi

It seems quite clear to me now: I must go within, in a totally new way. I’m not really sure what that looks like or how to do it, but I’m pretty sure I’m on the right track to finding out. I’ve had some pretty intense experiences this past year, but I know I’ve only scratched the surface. I know that the experience of my existence is far deeper than I could possibly fathom.

And as I sit here writing (this is a totally spontaneous writing that is coming to me as I go), I feel like I’m starting to put my most recent puzzle pieces together:

I’m terribly “ungrounded”, especially lately. I’m spacey and brain farty and have a difficult time engaging in real life day to day activities. I’m “not here”. The other day I asked my spirit to please come back. Life is so screwed up when I’m so disconnected like this. I keep trying to find ways to ground myself, but somehow everything I try only seems to push my spirit out farther away.

Maybe, just maybe, the key is within me. I must go inside, deeper. I keep reaching outwards… for God, for relationships, for things, for nature and the earth itself. I keep trying to find myself and wholeness and grounding in all the things outside of me. But it’s not working. Perhaps, maybe, I must go deeper within myself. Somehow gather my scattered self into my center, into the deep heart of my being. 

As I said, I’m not entirely sure how to do this. If I think in energy terms (for lack of better words), I discover the great difference in my reactions between going within and going without. I can switch to “oneness with the universe” freakishly easy (and this coming from someone who’s never done meditation). I feel the barrier between me and everything else fade out in a second. Sometimes it’s amusing and certainly a nice feeling. On the other hand, going within fills me with fear. I’ve had experiences that I can only describe as “falling within myself” and it terrified me. I exclaimed there was an entire universe inside of me. (I let myself go into the universe around me, but what about the universe within me?) This feeling tends to overtake me the most when I’m utterly exhausted. I actually feel myself slip inside and I always catch myself with a jolt. It’s like abruptly waking up from a split-second nap. Whenever it starts happening, I resist it so bad. But like all things I resist in my life, I realize there is an aspect of this which must be embraced. Perhaps it is exactly what I need at that exact moment. Perhaps there’s a reason this experience happens when I “reach the end of myself”- it’s the end of all external holding points, including my physical existance. I have nothing left to cling to. There is only one place left to go, and that is within.

Right now I feel this adventurous desire to explore the unknown depths of my own being. What could be more exciting than actually coming to know yourself? Honestly?! And do I have any real concept of what the hell I’m even talking about? No! (I shout in glee) But I’ll get there! The desire is real. It’s more real than any other spiritual truth I could dwell on right now. 

Could I possibly turn my desire inwards? Could I fixate a decent sized portion of my own passion on myself for a change? What would that be like? I’m not entirely sure, but I’m convinced it would be the very definition of “epic”. And I suspect it may be the only way to truly satisfy my soul.

“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”
-Rumi

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