I remember being at a motivational meeting in my mid-20s and the speaker asked anyone who could get through a locked door without the key to raise his hand. Only a couple of hands went up. Then he asked the same question but added that our child was on the other side of the door and the room was on fire. “How many of you could get into the room now?” he asked. Nearly every hand went up, including mine.
His point was about motivation and I’ve thought about his questions many times over the years. What makes a person or an activity valuable in our lives? Who would we risk our lives for? How do we find those important things, the ones that make getting out of bed every day exciting and fulfilling? This knowledge lies within us, but it is beyond the noise and clutter of thought-production.
Aren’t thoughts funny things? One after another after another after another, never stopping—unless we decide we are the bosses, not them. After all, these bodies are soul-carriers with specific purposes, the most important being contact between the two. Our minds can be receivers, (for me it’s often when I’m writing), but whatever it is inside us that produces thoughts doesn’t like being turned off or even turned down. Thinking can drive us crazy with confusion, opinions, fears and judgments. Isn’t the inner critic amazing? It is never at a loss for words, especially those designed to keep us stuck in the same worried/frantic place.
The thing is, it’s all a lie. We’re not meant to live in fear and confusion, separate from others. We’re made for service and community, for sharing our lives, for love of a personal kind and the kind that includes us but is more than us. Love is the answer to every question. Every question. It is the source of life, the purpose of life, and the invitation to inspiration and meaning. It can be tapped by setting aside quiet time every day, sitting with our eyes closed and a willingness to let our thoughts come and go without judgment. When our thoughts no longer get a rise out of us, it’s not as much fun for them, and the space for peace heals our minds and bodies and spirits. Where could quiet time take you?