“Let me tell you why you are here. You are here because you know something. What you know, you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life. There’s something wrong, and you don’t know what it is, but there’s something there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that brought you here … Do you want to know what it is? … It’s the wool that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. You are a slave born into a prison you cannot smell or taste or touch … a prison for your mind. Unfortunately, no one can tell you what this is. You have to experience it for yourself.
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back.
You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonder-Land, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Remember, all I’m offering is the truth.
Nothing else.” -Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus in The Matrix
The conditioning of our minds has been going on since birth. We are trained to “do” in order to “be.” We have little value until we produce value. What we create is our value. It is not something inherent in our being; it is something generated by our doing.
This is what we’ve come to believe is the truth. We’ve been taught what’s right and what’s wrong. We’ve been told what to believe, how to act and how to live. We’ve been led down a path, depending on our individual acculturation, to “know” what to think about ourselves and how to identify with others. The who, what, where, when and why have all been poured into our head brains from the outside world, from the very beginning.
And here’s the thing. We’ve chosen to believe it. Sure, maybe not consciously, but nonetheless, it has been our choice. We have free will. We’ve adapted to it and adopted it as our own. Our personal “truths” and the way we look at, measure, engage with and create within the world, all of it has been impressed upon us by others. We’ve decided to take what’s outside of us and bring it through the sacred doors of our being to make it our own.
Or, in some cases, maybe be haven’t. Perhaps there are places where we have resisted the conditioning. We have turned away from the “norms,” “categories” and the “reality” that has been handed to us. Maybe we have chosen to take the stance that, as one of my most cherished friends says, “I’m not a joiner.”
This has, most likely, created some challenges for us, and it has also been because, deep inside, there’s something that hasn’t felt right, but we didn’t necessarily know how or why. We have only known it didn’t quite fit or “make sense.”
A little side note here about “making sense” – what we sense comes from our instinctive center, our gut brain. It cannot be influenced by what is outside of us, but can be overridden if we choose to overlook or ignore it. We can turn from what our senses tell us, but we will always feel what they are whispering to us. This can begin to be like that “splinter in the mind,” driving us to question and move towards what’s calling us and what seems truer and more authentic.
I experienced this when I was a kid. I was an extraordinarily gifted swimmer, and by the age of nine, already had coaches looking at me for possible Junior Olympic training potential. The thing was, I simply loved swimming. Not to win, which I did, but to experience how great it felt to push my body to top levels of speed and precision. I didn’t do it for the recognition; in fact, I was often MIA when it came time to receive my awards, but the older I got, the more the adults in my life – thankfully, not my parents – wanted to use this talent to raise my team and eventually me to a place of top billing – success and all that came with it. Eventually, the pressure made me stop enjoying what I was doing. My life had become endless practices, and there was never time for friends. I decided, at the age of 12, to leave swimming so that I could have a life.
Many tried to talk me out of it. They tried to convince my parents that I was throwing away my value, and in some cases, “throwing away my life.” They talked about how I was given a gift that it was my duty to regift to the world. They told me I would regret it.
Side note on this one, I didn’t and I don’t. I would make the exact decision today, if given the chance.
It is no wonder with so much conditioning around our identities that many of us are afraid to look in and uncover and define, for ourselves, our distinct value. I know I felt like that much of my life. After the swimming experience, I was almost afraid to show what I was good at, lest someone come along and try to control how I use my skills and to what end.
We have been so accustomed to listening to others to determine who, what and why we are that it seems scary to think that, perhaps, we might hold very different information within us.
What if we do find that what is inside contradicts what we have come to believe about ourselves and others? That could be a very heavy realization that we may be tempted not to endure. Definitely wanting to take that “blue” pill.
Yet, when we don’t, what then? Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, who we are and why we came will bleed through. If we are living a false life, in any way, it will show up in how we feel and what manifests in our lives.
We’ve all heard of others, and maybe have even experienced it ourselves, where success and having everything we’ve been told will bring satisfaction, but in fact, it does not. Illusive happiness or lack of fulfillment comes from a place of living inauthentically. We may, in fact, be “doing” everything to create the accomplishment, advancement and prosperity we’ve been led to believe is the value we want, the value we’re meant to have and be, but our “being” does not feel complete or aligned. Our life, in some way or all ways, may look good on paper, but, in reality, something isn’t adding up.
It is in this awareness where the opportunity is granted for us to see that we are not here to find out what the world wants from us, but instead that it is our sole right and duty to determine what we’ve been carrying since birth that is the value we have to offer the world.
Are you currently at a choice point in your life?
The last few months have presented many of us with realizations that we must choose something for ourselves. Now, we may find ourselves at the door of making that decision and committing to following it through – putting distinctive action to what we know.
Will it be the red pill or the blue one? Will we choose to follow what our hearts and instinctive centers are telling us and where they are leading us, or will we choose the old, conditioned stories of the mind and the “comfort” of what we have known, done and come to believe?
Even indecision is a decision. It’s the choice NOT to make a choice to move forward or backward. It’s a commitment to staying stuck.
The time we’re in is demanding that we lay the egg or get off the nest – my daughter’s version of “s*!# or get off the pot,” and is really pushing us away from indecision. Have you noticed how extremely uncomfortable it’s getting NOT to make a choice or tell yourself you don’t know what to do? It’s driving some of us crazy, and it’s doing this for a reason.
In Paulo Coelho’s book, The Alchemist, he says this: “There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey. Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. You’ve got to find the treasure, so that everything you have learned along the way can make sense.”
So, if you are finding yourself at a critical choice point, think about it, yes, but also make sure you include the inner voices of your heart brain and what you are feeling, as well as your gut brain and what you are sensing in order to find what is right and true for you.
Whatever you choose will, of course, have consequences, so try to say “yes” to the ones that are most aligned with that treasure inside of you that has been there from the beginning, begging to be seen, heard and given the opportunity to lead.