Ahh, the Redwoods. Well, not THE Redwoods…but Redwoods nonetheless. Still so majestic, still so full of life. Which reminds me…This story is about this AND that. First, let me back up a second. Driving to Big Sur is an experience that is just as unparalleled as the destination itself. I can only describe the coastal road of California as one that must rival any other road in the world. It’s a fascinating stretch that’s incredibly beautiful AND dangerous at the same time.
An acute sense of balance is necessary to enjoy the beauty around while staying present to the task at hand…driving. Cue the metaphor - life is constantly moving forward, isn’t it? Okay, enough about the road…let’s get to the meat of this story.
Sitting in the central coast of California, Big Sur gives any and all of it’s inhabitants a wonderful mix of ocean air AND beautiful forest energy. Camping here gives an incredible opportunity to feel clean AND dirty at the same time. To feel one with the earth, yet cleansed by the ocean air is worth every second there. But if you think any of this is there for us, think again. This beautiful setting is doing it’s thing whether we’re there or not. It’s just being. Perspective. Just as the light is always shining. It just is. ‘Well why don’t we always see the light’ it you may ask. My simple answer…it’s because something is in the way.
Maybe it’s a physical object, a person, or even a thought. Just because we may not see the light, doesn’t mean it’s not shining. This concept really struck me at a time one morning when I went for a walk by myself. Walking through the Redwoods and around the other campsites, I noticed the morning marine layer fog mixing with smoke from fires on breakfast duty. The sun had already been up a couple hours and was shining through, despite the barriers that tried to impede it. Sure, some of the light didn’t make it through from my perspective of the trees and fog…but the light shined on. Whether I was perceiving shade or light, the source hadn’t changed. It was showing me shade AND light.
Our task, if we choose it, is to recognize those barriers so that they may be acknowledged. Gone unnoticed, it can become difficult to recognize why things may be “off” in our lives. But if we’re paying attention to our triggers and those things that throw us out of alignment, we can see them as the barriers to the light that’s always there, trying to shine through. Once they are acknowledged, we now have the choice to choose another perspective.
Our perspectives tend to come from our childhood, whether it’s our family, friends or environment. Those perspectives come from other perspectives and so on down the line. At some point, one of the most important things we can do for ourselves is decide whether or not those perspectives still work for us - if they really ever did in the first place. Our limited awareness as children keeps us dependent on those that raise us.
But as we grow and our awareness expands, it’s up to us to challenge those ingrained beliefs to see if they should stick around. Chances are, they don’t apply anymore and could be getting in the way of who we truly are. If a limited perspective got us in to this mess, than an unlimited one can get us out of it.
I don’t believe we came here to suffer, but a lot of us did and continue to suffer. Whether the heavy suffering already happened or continues, the opportunity to use it to lead to an even stronger empowered self is still there. Use it for what it can show you…where there’s shade, there’s light. If you’re in the shade, recognize that the light is just a new perspective away.