We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For

by Carol Hendershot

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” – Hopi Elder

Anyone who has spent as much time as I have in the self-help section of a book store can tell you that there are innumerable opportunities to improve upon this thing called “me/you.” The possibilities of self-fixing are mind-boggling and endless. Self-improvement is our national pastime, and there are all kinds of ideas about how to be different and better or how to make up for some flaw.

Some books share their insights with humor, others in seriousness, but what they all have in common is the absolute conviction that they have the answer to our plight. 

There is Another Way

It was many years into this search that I started to stumble on a few philosophers who weren’t telling me what I had to do or change to be okay. These thinkers were pointing to something more essential. They were pointing to my innate value as a human being. They were reminding me that I am okay just the way I am and that all I have to do is surrender to that profound fact. 

The Trance of Unworthiness

Of course, I didn’t believe it because I was still suffering under the weight of what Tara Brach calls “the trance of unworthiness.” This “trance” is a veil that obscures the truth of who we really are, and we all experience it; sometimes for a short period and other times for long stretches of our lives. But, if we are lucky, something happens that allows us to peer through that veil and, at least temporarily, break the spell. 

I Am Enough, and So Are You

A few years ago, that is exactly what happened to me. At the end of a difficult seven-day silent retreat facing down some very loud, angry, and insistent “inner gremlins,” I was feeling pretty hopeless. Due to flight schedules, I had to stay an extra day at the deserted retreat center. Feeling sorry for myself, I decided to take a walk among the golden hills of northern California. As I felt the gentle breeze blowing through my skirt, something started to shift. I was stopped dead in my tracks; not by anything outside myself, but with a sudden inner knowing. A feeling of utter contentment washed over me, completely obliterating the cloud of self-loathing. At that moment I knew that I was enough just the way I was, and it was one of the most amazing things that ever happened to me. Eighteen years later, I still get goosebumps when I think about it.

Satori: A Glimpse of Truth

Many believe that the Japanese word, Satori, means enlightenment. What it actually means is “glimpse.” It is a moment in time when the truth is revealed and, based on that, our whole perspective on life is shifted. 

I feel like I had that “glimpse” into something larger than myself. What I saw, heard, felt, and sensed that day was the truth that all of us are enough, just the way we are. Yes, we have problems and have to make mistakes to learn the lessons of life, but underneath all of that, we are whole. We don’t have to add anything; we simply have to step on the path and allow life to peel away the layers that are hiding our beauty.

Please join me on this journey. Know that there may be some scrapes and falls along the way, but the truth is always there for us to rediscover.

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