If you’re feeling lost and confused, meditation can bring you back home to yourself.
Since I was a little girl, I’d had a vision for my life: marriage, kids, stay-at-home mom, published author. Parts of that vision came true in varying ways, but it never came together as a whole the way I’d pictured it. And I spent a long time trying to force it to come together, to cobble together the bits and pieces into a cohesive bigger picture that would closely resemble what I used to imagine.
When things fell apart again, I reached that point we all reach at some point. That point where we don’t care. That “I don’t give a crap” point.
My relationship ended and as it did, skeletons began tumbling out of closets. I was forced to face several truths I’d been (deliberately) avoiding because I didn’t want to see them.
Reaching that point was a critical step for me because that was when I was able to stop trying so hard to create the life that so clearly didn’t want to be created. That was the point at which I was able to get really honest with myself and ask a simple question: Why?
Why did I want marriage? Why did I want a committed lasting relationship?
Why do you value what you value?
I had always believed that my desire for marriage, for a committed lasting relationship, was entirely my own. But was it?
Let’s look at this for a moment. My parents have been married for more than 40 years. When my grandfather passed away a few years ago, my grandparents had been married for nearly 70 years. Most of my aunts and uncles have been married for at least 20 years.
I’ve read romance novels for as long as I can remember — since I was at least 10, maybe even sooner. As a voracious reader, the only way I could find enough to read was to branch out beyond children’s books. But even among children’s books, there’s often a theme of romance, of love that lasts forever, usually formed through a whirlwind romance. Think Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty.
TV shows, movies — romance and the idea of committed lasting relationships are everywhere.
And so I began to really question where my desire — where anyone’s desire — for that kind of relationship was coming from. And the answer has really surprised me.
For you, it might not be about relationships. It might be your career. Your desire to have children — or not have them. You know what it is for you. It’s that thing that has never quite worked out for you. Or that thing you say you want but it doesn’t quite feel right.
Many of the things that we value the most are heavily influenced by others around us, and we don’t even question it. We don’t wonder whether we’d feel the same about it if we grew up in a different family, a different friend group, a different state.
But that’s often exactly what we need to do. We need to question it. We need to ask ourselves why we value what we value.
And meditation is the perfect way to do that.
Meditation cuts through all the crap
The inward journey of meditation takes you away from the external influences of family, friends, books, movies, TV, and whatever else might be pushing you in one direction or another.
Meditation is a chance to dive deep into who you are, what you believe, and what you want. It’s a chance to question anything and everything in a safe space.
You can explore through asking yourself questions and seeking answers, by imagining various scenarios, and by giving attention to the feelings that arise. All of these things will help you gain clarity on why you value what you value, why you want what you want, and sometimes, come to the realization that what you thought you wanted and valued isn’t what you thought it was at all.
Meditation is a chance to understand yourself, to come to terms with realizations that might be difficult, without any external force telling you what you should be thinking, feeling or doing. This can be so important because there are so many ways that others can try to influence us. Look at social media. Scroll your Facebook feed any time of the day or night and you’re sure to see half a dozen friends share a photo, an article, or a status update that indicates how they feel about something — politics, religion, etc.
Meditation allows you to connect with yourself. That connection with yourself will do more than just allow you to determine your values and desires without external influence. It will also allow you to stand strong when those external influences try to persuade you that you want what they say you want.
Meditation brings you home
I have a tattoo on the inside of my left forearm. It says “Return to yourself.” The words are part of a quote by Masaru Emoto, from his book Secret Life of Water:
“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.”
Meditation is how you return to yourself. It’s how you discover yourself and bring yourself into full bloom. You’ll become beautiful and strong through meditation’s exploration of yourself and the way you think and feel.
For me, I ended up realizing that marriage isn’t something I’m interested in anymore. If I met the right guy and it was important to him, it wouldn’t be off the table as an option. But I don’t see marriage as the ultimate relationship for me anymore. I realized that through meditation, and I got comfortable with it through meditation.
Use meditation to remember who you are and what matters to you. Use it to return to yourself.