Ever wonder about the people you meet who you just enjoy because they say all the right things? You have that deep connection when you talk about things beyond the weather, which celebrity did what, and what your favourite television show is. They know all the buzz words and before long, the two of you are finishing each other’s sentences, and you talk long after everyone else is out of steam.
You have several conversations with these people and you marvel to others how alike you are. It seems magical and you swear you know who they really are. Then, somewhere along the way, as you hang out, things don’t seem quite right. This person knows all the words, but what they talk about knowing and what they actually do, are miles apart. In practice they are often angry, abusing others, manipulating people and worse. They are up and down and all over the place emotionally and seldom happy. They have no real direction and nothing is ever their fault.
And the strangest thing is that it they are totally unaware how the two representations of themselves cannot exist in the same space and both be true. They have no sense of the insanity they cause others to feel when they are around them and eventually, you cannot be around them because talk without any substance behind it, is pointless.
I have come to realize there are many people who have taken the class but never learned the lesson. In school sometimes I just memorized the information that was given me, I had no real idea of what it meant, and so I never learned anything. I got great marks because I had a good memory. Even now I can repeat the words or facts regarding pretty much anything and have no idea what they really mean. Mechanics is a good example of that, I don’t know how an engine works at all. Any of the people who know me well have probably heard me pre-empt what I am about to say with, “Ok, I am saying this, but understand I am just repeating words I have been told and I have absolutely no idea what they mean.” I can’t have a conversation with the mechanic about what needs to be done to fix the car and make a reasonable choice about what he is offering because I do not understand it.
Some people do that with their lives. The know the words but they have never taken those words into their lives to understand them by trying them out and living them so they are forever etched on their souls. Learning about sky diving from a lecture, or reading a book, or even watching a film, cannot give you what actual jumping from the plane gives you. Many of the lessons we take from life come at the cost of a lengthy process of tries and failures, tries and successes, tries and profound successes. Many of the lessons are learned from being open to our own short comings, and to the short comings of life, and others. It comes from being teachable.
Sadly not all people are teachable.
Substituting pieces of paper, and workbooks or even pictures of us from the classes we have attended is not evidence that we understand the truths we have been given. The only real evidence that we understand those truths is found in how it changes our lives, how we use them and how we live them.
So people wander living two paths, the path of who they are and the path of what they want people to think they are; and because neither of those two paths are authentic, these people are conflicted and unhappy and forever searching for the one thing that will make them happy. They feel that changing a job will be THE answer, or moving to a different city, or buying a new home. When those things happen and there is no magical change, they are even more confused and lost.
There are no shortcuts in life. You have to take the time to understand who you are, what you want, and to learn your lessons and live them. The people who have done that, and not everyone does it willingly, some of our experiences drag us captive along with them into the very bowels of hell, these are the people who are at peace. It is not that everything in their life is happy, and they have used their thoughts to project everything into their lives that they want, it is that they have a deep sense of who they are, what they are capable of, and of the unimportant need to worry excessively about life’s circumstances. They know they will be OK. They are connected to source.