Find Your Center And You Can Never Be Lost Again
You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking how you’ll escape one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.
Do you know someone who thinks these immense detailed daydreams? They can go on for hours telling you how when they win the Lotto they are going to do all of these wonderful things with their life. It is always “someday” thinking. Some fantasy of how someone or something will happen in their life, and everything will finally be the way they want it. I have had this kind of thinking. Dissatisfied with what life is, we escape into a fantasy of what we want it to be. Which is fine if it is the beginning of making a change in our life. But too many times, we just go round and round the labyrinth twisting and turning, but never finding the end. We feel like we are doing something, but in reality we are lost and going nowhere.
The point of the maze is to find its center. The point of a labyrinth is to find your center.
When I walk the path of the labyrinth, it is like stepping outside of time. I leave everything behind me as I take the first step across the threshold. With each step I can feel more and more stories, emotions, entanglements dropping off my shoulders. The stresses of trying to work fulltime with a demanding career. The stresses of personal family crisis’s that wobble as I try to balance them. They tip this way and that and keep me running. Writing these blogs, finishing the book, making my own personal transformations. Everything just drops off the shoulders with each new step.
You are looking for the answers to the questions of life. Lots of reflecting about what has been and gone. Looking at the here and the now. Wondering what is ahead of you. You are being guided by your own guides. They will light up your way, and show you the path ahead.
Finally I enter the center and sit in contemplation. I convene with my soul. I realize that most of these stresses are of my own creation. I am the one who makes the rules, who sets the boundaries, who creates the vortex they whirl around. So I can set them down. I can let them play themselves out. I don’t have to control them, structure them or mold them. When I walk back out of the labyrinth, I pick up the things I dropped. What has changed though, is that they are no longer the storm rocking my world. The sunlight has entered into each and every one, and instead of thunder and lightening, I hear birdsong and crickets. I feel the warm breeze lightly touching my skin. I am centered and ready to face reality once more.
The intricacies of life are but common to all; it is how we untangle these twists that paints our individuality in the canvas of destiny. We can choose to be lost in the labyrinth of our emotions or use these trials to harness our inner strength, but one thing remains constant in our lives, we have the sun in our hands.
One of my favorite scenes in the Star Wars saga, is when Luke is about to enter the cave. He asks Yoda what he will find inside the cave. Yoda replies, whatever you take in with you. This is true for all of us. The labyrinth may have monsters wandering the path. They would be our own personal monsters that we took with us. We have fed and watered them until they grew so large we could no longer control them. The labyrinth is filled with our desires, memories, fears, and passions. In them we can find and lose ourselves over and over again. As the proverb says, “The only way out is through”. Through dangers and hardships unnumbered the fairy tales tell us how to slay the monsters, because if we don’t figure out how to slay them, they will destroy us.
In the labyrinth, one does not lose oneself; in a labyrinth, one finds oneself. In a labyrinth, one does not encounter the Minotaur; In a labyrinth, one encounters oneself.
Our will is strong. The only power the monsters have is that which we have granted to them. We can take it away at any time. Fears are like snowflakes in a snowstorm. Each snow flake is so small. But when they are joined by more and more of them, they can soon cover the world with a thick blanket of snow. They can take visibility to zero in no time at all. But the cool thing about snowflakes is that it just takes a little heat and they melt away like they never existed. Every single monster in our labyrinth is like a snowflake. A little heat and they will all melt into nothing, even the puddle of water will disappear and there will be no evidence that we were ever in danger from them.
Go on with what your heart tells you, or you will lose all.
– Percy Jackson, The Lightning Thief
There is always the moment when the light shines down. When the revelation strikes us and we see that all of the journey’s misfortunates have brought us and our dream to this very moment. The moment of self revelation in which we can choose to follow the dream across the finish line, or to step backwards into the labyrinth and continue to be lost. The moment of judging and forgiving ourselves. The moment of self love or self hate.
You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.
– Thomas Merton
When all you talk about is finding your way out of the labyrinth, but you don’t take the steps to leave it, then it is time to ask yourself: What I am afraid I will leave behind me? Why am I afraid to love myself? Why am I afraid to go? What am I afraid to admit to myself? The things both done and left undone haunt us here. They must be faced. The truth hurts, because it matters. When the pain of staying finally exceeds the pain of going, you will free yourself. But if you explore the questions, digging beneath them with curiosity, you can clean up your space and leave without the pain of departure.
A labyrinth is a symbolic journey . . . but it is a map we can really walk on, blurring the difference between the map and the world.
– Rebecca Solnit
Trust your heart and soul to lead you in the right direction. Even when you think that left is right, or up is down, trust the journey. The side roads don’t really lead away from the destination so much as they provide needed instruction for the journey. Just remember to use curiosity liberally. To tone down the emotions, which can get easily out of control. Have fun. Explore, adventure, dive deep, climb high. And don’t forget the questions – they are like umbrellas. They protect us from the torrential rain, from the beating sun, and from seagull poop – and that is the most important thing ever. Trust me.
Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.
– Joseph Campbell