When the song “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” first came out I used to sing it like a mantra. Lots of intensity and heart on my sleeve sort of stuff. “Oh, woe is me – I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, but
aren’t I a great person because I’m searching hard and trying hard and one day I’ll find it.
But now I wonder “what was this ‘it’ I thought I was going to find”.
In the days when I was single ‘it’ was a man. In the days when I felt overweight ‘it’ was a slimmer, sleeker body. And often ‘it’ was more money. Thing is I never found what I was looking for because as soon as I did, I started looking for something else.
When I first started consciously on the path of ‘personal development’ I spent a lot of time looking for THE answer. I would attend the latest seminar or read the latest book and decide that that was the ways things worked or, more often than not, that that was what was wrong with me. I’d follow the ‘expert’ advice for a few months and then discover holes in the theory or find it didn’t work for me.
Then, one day, having grown weary of searching for lofty goals I realised that all I wanted was a way to live my life that worked for me.
I didn’t want enlightenment, or to grow back my missing teeth (yes, I worked with one ‘leader’ who was attempting to do that). I didn’t want to live in a permanent state of bliss or surrender my body to alien walk-ins. (yep, I went to one of those seminars too – just curious!)
All I wanted, was a way to live my life that worked for me.
What I didn’t realise then was that this still left me searching for ‘a way’. By attending seminars, reading books etc. I was still looking at someone else’s way. It still left me vulnerable to cultural pressure and the assumptions and beliefs I’d formed due to my personal experience of life. Unconsciously, I was still being dictated to by outside influences.
Now, I’ve shifted into wanting to live my life IN a way that works for me. That’s a subtle difference. That brings my life back to the present and in this moment, there’s no-one else’s way but my own. I might choose to experiment with things I’ve learned from others but as long as I’m trying them out IN my life I’m still living my own life – making adjustments day to day.
My life is not so much about what happens in the future or what I believed in the past. It’s about how I live my life, today, in this moment.