Sorrow has been a constant companion for many of us, and yet we are content with the mind’s interpretation of what it is. What if sorrow is not what it appears to be?
What if it is a deep invitation to return to authenticity and naturalness? What if, in your heart, you know that sorrow is a sane response to the human condition of confusion and suffering?
Everything in nature has a function, and depression’s function is to dissolve the sense of isolation and the unnecessary defenses.
We all know that when sorrow fills us, there is no escape. The depths of sorrow each one of us has experienced is so great. For some of us, there are circumstances that appear to cause sorrow and sustain it. And yet for others, we cannot trace it back to an event.
In both cases, if we feel it deeply, it is too large to be ours alone.
For a moment, don’t touch the narrative of sorrow and notice its fathomless depths. What does this reveal?
Have you ever wondered how we have the capacity to feel so deeply?
How is it that we can experience the loss and disappointments of the human heart? There is so much about us that remains unseen. In our innocence, we listen to thought’s interpretation of who we are and what is happening in our life. And yet in the background, there is a presence of such intelligence and wisdom that is already carrying the life we call ours. This is our natural Self.
We all have played so many roles in our lives, variously leading to joy and sorrow. The only thing that has remained a constant is this presence: that which is aware of the daily ups and downs, that which feels the emotions and all the body’s sensations – and even listens to thoughts.
Have you ever noticed that whatever the age of your body, you often felt much younger? What if you weren’t defined by your birth date, or how others view you, or even how you view yourself? What if you were so much greater and simpler than any idea of yourself? And what if sorrow was pointing to that?
Sorrow is a call, home. The human condition of dissatisfaction and depression was born of the perceived separation from our essential Self, our naturalness.
At the heart of sorrow there is longing, an unquenchable hunger that we try to fill with experiences, food, love affairs and material acquisitions.
Longing, when felt directly, is the invitation back to what is Real – to who we are behind our roles and personality.
In the West, the focus is on fixing the personality so it can function better and feel complete. This can be a lifetime process because the personality itself is imagined: it is not who we are.
Like a piece of fabric, it cloaks our innocence and attempts to protect the openness within.
Just check, are you really your role?
As you look inside, are you aware of an aliveness that is naturally open? Right now, all the sensations and emotions have free movement through us. One of the functions of this constant flow of emotions and thoughts is to awaken this alive intelligence to its innate capacity to soothe emotion and clarify the mind. This is when the natural Self starts to know itSelf – to recognize that it simply is.
There is no need for the Self to change or improve; it is complete and perfect just as it is. This is true rest.
When the body and mind are at rest, it is easy to see who we are, innate naturalness, the presence that is always in the background.
Based in New Mexico, Pamela Wilson is one of the leading spiritual teachers in the United States.