It doesn’t sound so easy to stop and ‘be you’ when all you want is a different you, a different experience than the one that has you in its crosshairs. Honestly, and said without even the tiniest bit of judgment, it may not be possible to quit running, to stop listening to the chatter inside your head … right now.
It is valid to say, “Just stop,” but perhaps not helpful. Stopping is where the spiritual path ultimately takes you, to the beautiful messy precious you you already always are, the one that isn’t at all what you think. Sometimes, often, being you isn’t fun, isn’t the stuff that defines happiness. In fact, sometimes it feels like being you is just too damn hard, at times even more so when you consciously walk the path.
The path is a minefield with little bombs planted where you can’t see them, just waiting for you to take that next step before they explode. When you know the mines are there, that your hidden and painful, unmet and untended experiences are bound to detonate, you tend to walk each step carefully, at least at first.
Eventually you find that while the bombs going off beneath your feet may shatter your heart, may shred your stuffing, they don’t kill you. You survive, not entirely intact, freer, more expansive, more willing to walk the minefield and see what’s buried there. A bit of confidence in your path has emerged.
That’s what the beginning of stopping feels like — a willingness to be with, to experience, to feel your buried life, the stuff that you very naturally stuffed deep inside to protect yourself from feeling experiencing being with it. It was too painful at the time so you stuffed it deep inside. Everything is either fully felt and freed to move along or resisted and lodged within.
Many people spend their entire lives at the effect of their stuffing, like the sweet toy animals a child carries everywhere until a seam pops and the stuffing falls out. Life tends to pop seams. Seems to be its nature.
What appears as doing the work, walking the path, meeting your hidden fears, the source of anger and sadness, is the process of unstuffing the one you call yourself. They are steps along the path, a path that appears as you appear to walk it, to where stopping happens. You don’t actually do stopping. You can’t stop. You are the stuffing, the ideas and concepts, thoughts and experiences you couldn’t bear to experience.
You can’t, you won’t stop until stopping appears; recognizing it is possible, priceless. The recognition is part of the path appearing, is part of what makes the next seeming step along it possible. You’d stop if you could. You are already stopping. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel like it.