My teenage daughter and I were driving to her ballet class two days ago, and somehow the subject of identity came up. And she said, “You know Mom, I was born in Europe, spent some years living in Asia and now I live in America. I don’t know who I am. I don’t belong anywhere.”
She seemed sad as she stared out the window, and I asked her how that made her feel. She paused for a very long time, and couldn’t seem to find an answer. And then she said, “Maybe we’ll never belong because we aren’t actually from here. We are spirits and the earth is only our temporary home.” We smiled at each other and rested in silence.
And inwardly, I thought, “Oh thank you beautiful child, for reminding me!” Yes, we are here, firmly grounded on this earth. We have these bodies and these lives that give us the opportunity for a multitude of emotions and experiences and all sorts of pleasures and all sorts of pain. There is never a moment of arriving, belonging, “getting it all right” or “figuring it out”. The minute we get it right, there is only another challenge or joy or experience that greets us on our spiritual journey.
There is nothing really to hold on to, whether it is a sensation or experience. The most we can do is breathe it in, be with it, and then let it go. And how grateful I was for that moment with my daughter, for her wise words that opened my eyes and softened my heart.