It is no coincidence that some of our most influential spiritual leaders have been able to take time off from the pressures of the outside world, whether that be making money, spending time with family or fitting in to a designated role and developed their sense of self and universal consciousness during that time. Many refuse to return to society and set up spaces for the personal growth of others that interestingly seems to occur most prominently away from the pressures of the world outside of us.
We are more and more aware of our spiritual needs, our emotional wellbeing and the fact that true happiness and peace are found within. This can be hard to marry with an external world that ridicules, demeans or patronises us for not living the way society tells us is right. Even those who have struggled themselves with fitting in force others to do the same in a bizarre act motivated by the thought: ‘I suffered and now you will too.’
But for every person who tells us ‘Life isn’t easy’, ‘You can’t have everything you want’, ‘It doesn’t work that way’, is a counter argument inside of us based on an innate knowledge that can guide us to living a life that satisfies us, positively challenges us and resonates with us on the deepest level.
There is a reason we need holidays. Our lives aren’t working for us in the long run. If we aren’t feeling like we are on holiday on Earth, something isn’t working. Yes we grow through challenges and we all face them whether they be in the form of grief, abuse, depression, anxiety, poverty, illness but the world we live in is not designed to help us through these periods with an intact sense of inner wellbeing that helps us learn and become stronger and better able to deal with life. The opposite occurs and those of us unable or unwilling to function in a world that feels unhealthy to us are marked as damaged, wrong, other.
So what can we do besides being brave and fighting it out? What if we don’t have a community around us that is supportive of our needs and desires?
We must go beyond the intellect and the ideas and thoughts we are struggling with and find the space inside of us that is comforting and quiet and tranquil. There is a way forwards in a world we are frightened of and frustrated by and we can find it when we turn within.
Self love is freedom. It allows us to stop seeking affirmation from a society we feel at odds with. It allows us to create healthy boundaries with those who don’t treat us well. It allows us to feel safe and secure in our convictions. It allows us to navigate the world from a lighter and more grounded perspective.
If we feel persecuted and attacked and judged then we are focusing on emotions that keep us feeling stuck and stressed and unwell. If on the other hand we turn within and connect with love and self acceptance and faith, we are focusing instead on health and wellbeing.
We do have the wisdom to deal with the pressures of the outside world. We can live well by tapping into our resilience and strength. We do not have to fit in with the dictates of a society that depresses us and we can work towards building a world that works for everyone. By allowing ourselves to be creative, remember our potential and respect our right to choices and beliefs that conflict with the status quo, regardless of our past and present, we allow ourselves a future that is truthful and sacred and right.
When we take a break from life it is because we are looking for the space to be ourselves. To connect with who we really are beyond the expectations of life as we know it. When we are able to, the truth of our wellbeing guides us to find our way through and we are able to re-enter the world on better terms and with more confidence and a healthier state of mind.
The outside world as it stands isn’t for everyone and many people struggle silently or create coping mechanisms that help them appear successful and normal by society’s standards. For those of us unable to live this way or who want more, the option is available when we learn to live from a place within that helps us to get a handle on the space without and find a way of not just existing in the physical world but of enjoying it and thriving in it.