Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
We live in a culture of perfectionism. We want to shed unwanted pounds, find the perfect mate, complete all the tasks on our to do list, and maybe even fit in time for a marathon! We have somehow equated these external accomplishments with happiness. But, do we even ask what is driving us toward completion of these goals? And, how do we feel about ourselves along the way? Will “happiness” only begin the minute we have achieved everything we want to achieve?
But what if deep joy and contentment were available to us now? What if, right now, we already accepted ourselves as beautiful, successful, and intelligent? What if all of those lofty goals, just out of our grasp, were not connected in any way to our sense of well being?
As Rumi writes, our focus is not to seek for love (or joy, peace, well being) in things, but rather to remove anything that keeps us from experiencing the fact that we ALREADY have everything we need, that we already are loved and accepted. What, then, are these obstacles? Guilt, fear, shame, anger, to name a few. It is anything that keeps us from accepting that joy is possible right now, today, without doing anything on your to do list.
There is no one key that unlocks every door. It’s up to each person to begin their own inner-dialogue to discover what are their own particular obstacles. Then, through mindfulness, meditation and other forms of reflection, we can begin to see these obstacles, understand them, accept them, go into them, and eventually they will lose their power over us.
So today, as you are making your to-do list, which I do every day, remember that completion of this list has no bearing whatsoever on your worth as a person, on your joy, peace and contentment. And, maybe while you are making your to-do list, you can also make a “self-gratitude list”, a list of things about you that already are, things that you admire and like about yourself. Put this list in your pocket and carry it with you, and if you start to have a moment of self-doubt, pull out the list remind yourself that you already are loved.