I thought perhaps that’s just the way it is. But when meditating one morning recently I realized that the reason why this keeps happening, even though to a far lesser extent, is that I had not fully turned my will and my life over to the care of my true self when I opened my heart. I, as observer, was still in charge.
The next morning I sat with this question: how do I fully turn my will and my life over to the care of my true self? And the answer came back in two parts: the first was, “Get over yourself,” the second was, “Just do it!”
Interestingly, I had recently been to a presentation given by a philosophy professor regarding how to use philosophy to handle mid-life crises. Afterwards, I thought that the real answer was not anything he suggested but rather the advice, “Get over yourself.”
I mean this not in the sarcastic way the phrase is often used, nor as meaning that people should not be aware of their value or talents. Rather, I mean that after learning that your true self is your heart not your ego-mind, and that all your feelings and perceptions are just a product of your ego-mind and are the cause of your suffering, one comes to the realization that whatever is going on around you, whatever is being done to you or in the past was done to you, has nothing really to do with you. It’s all about others.
Thus there is no need or reason to “deal” with these things. We only feel the need to deal with them because we take them personally. If you don’t, you can go forward doing the things that are important to you, the things that nourish you, you can be who you are without regard to these external matters.
When you realize that and act on it, you experience peace and happiness because you are doing what you truly want to do; you are being true to yourself. When you are in that state you affirm that you have everything you need inside yourself to be at peace and happy. And that regardless what life throws at you, all will be well because you will continue to do what’s important to you and be yourself.
And when you’re in that state, you have no reason or need to have any desires because you have everything that’s most important to you … you’re doing what you are meant to do and you are being yourself and experiencing peace and happiness. What more could one desire? The ego-mind could obviously come up with lots of things, but that’s the point.
You will also realize that your ego-mind adds and has added nothing positive to your life. To confirm this intuitive feeling, I reviewed the events in my past that were important positive moments. And I found that all of those occurred because of the guidance of my heart. My ego-mind was not the catalyst for my doing any of those things. To the extent that my ego-mind involved itself, it instead created problems by creating expectations and goals, rather than just being satisfied by the process, the journey.
When you understand these truths and act on them, getting over yourself, you will in effect be one with your true self. And the last barrier to your fully turning your will and your mind over to your true self disappears. You will have no fear of an ego-free life.
To “do it,” to bring it all together, I decided to devote a meditation the next day to getting over myself, releasing my ego, and turning my will and my life over. The process deserved and needed that focus. I also decided to add some ritual to the process.
First, I acknowledged that what I experience and had experienced in life has nothing to do with me, that I will no longer take them personally, and that there thus is no need or reason to obsess about these events. And so I recited, “I am now fully over myself,” three times. A ritual followed that involved writing “ego,” “emotions,” “perceptions,” “desires,” “cravings,” and “attachments” on little pieces of paper, putting them in a bowl, and burning them. As the paper turned to ash, I recited three times, “I release all ego, all emotions, all perceptions, all desires, all cravings, all attachments.” Then I recited three times, “I turn my will and my life over to the care of my true self.” Afterwards, I recited the Heart Sutra.
And so I just did it. It has now been some time since I performed this ritual. I can attest that as I have gone through my days I feel an unaccustomed lightness. It’s not just that nothing agitates me, now I feel that nothing burdens me. I always feel present, able to be open to all the present moment has to offer, be grateful, and find happiness in the moment. I know that I am free to be myself and do the things that are important to me regardless of what the surrounding situation is. I am at peace and happy in a way that I never experienced before.