I’ve realized that I miss how it felt when I had certain beliefs. Beliefs like being an eternal soul that goes from lifetime to lifetime. The concept that some omnipresent, unconditionally loving being is protecting me. That, in the end, we’re all one and all of this is an illusion we co-created to teach us and help us grow.
I no longer have those beliefs. To be honest, I’m less happy now, and I worry much more. I feel my mortality and it’s both frightening and a relief. On one hand, once I’m gone, that’s it, and that’s scary. On the other hand, it would be a relief to cease to exist and not have to deal with the hardships of endless lifetimes.
I used to feel that I could let things go, surrender, trust the universe, and everything would work out. It allowed me to take much greater risks and do amazing things. Now, I often hold myself back out of fear of what might happen. That sucks and it’s paralyzing.
In a way, I wish I could go back to having those old beliefs. However, I can’t just fake it. I just don’t buy it anymore. The evidence of my experiences doesn’t support it. Back when I believed I was supernaturally “protected”, bad things still happened all the time. However, I saw them as my fault because I wasn’t trusting enough.
The evidence before me shows the universe as utterly indifferent to us. Nature does its thing and sometimes it’s to our benefit and sometimes it’s devastating to thousands. There’s no evidence of any reason or divine interference of any kind.
To be honest, it’s frustrating. I wish I could just relax and feel like everything will turn out fine, but there’s no guarantee of that. There’s no evidence of a reason behind everything, or that there’s a lesson in everything. Things do just happen for no good reason. Some people are truly evil and have no conscience and no care of how they affect others. Some actually delight in causing as much suffering as they can.
I’m kind because I love people and don’t like to be treated badly myself. I have compassion because I know what it’s like to suffer. I believe reciprocity works and the evidence of that is everywhere. People helping each other out have community, a safety net, a support network, and love.
And that’s what it really boils down to, isn’t it? Love. Whether or not I believe in anything beyond this physical universe, love is real. We can choose to embrace love, or we can hide from it and shun it in fear. Love is what makes life worth living.
While I can’t stop bad things from happening, if there are people I love and who love me as well, then the suffering can be lessened. Life can be made better. At the least, it sure beats the alternative!
So, I may not have belief, but I know there are some in my life who love me and who I love dearly, and that’s what I am grateful for. That’s what I live for.
© 2015 William Suphan
- You Are An Individual, Just Like Everyone Else
- The Choice We’re Making