The storm is raging. Your boat is filling with water rapidly. You are up to your neck with salty sea foam and seaweed. Rocking, creaking, crashing: the rafters are coming down around you.
You watch as the horizon disappears and you sink with your boat to the bottom of the sea. Down there, a stillness wraps itself around you. No more breath. No more life.
But this is only a dream. A dream that feels more real than your waking life. Because your waking life has long been a picture of chaos that never felt like you. You are stronger, bigger, lighter, freer, than the life that has held you captive for so many years.
There is another dream. It is the dream that meets your waking life in a delightful dance of freedom. It is the dream of driving fast through the canyons: pink skies, windows down, hair flying like birds in a Hitchcock movie.
This is home. And yet, you feel so far away from it in your broken body, with your broken heart, that the dream is only seen in fleeting glimpses that pass speedily by like a freight train.
The Journey Home
How can we find home wherever we are? Sometimes we feel like we can’t. Sometimes home feels like the farthest point from one side of the globe to the other side. It’s a hole in your heart that goes all the way to China. Your body, mind and heart feel disjointed.
What has brought about this feeling?
It happens when your beliefs about yourself or the world do not match up with the viewpoints and circumstances that are presented to you.
It happens when your life circumstances are polar opposite to what your life purpose is.
Maybe you sit in an office cubicle, when you long for the mountains.
Maybe you are married to a person whose viewpoints about the world are not remotely in alignment with yours.
Maybe you are ill and your body longs for the freedom to walk, run, ski, hike, work.
What do you do to get home?
Dive in. Dive straight in. It’s the most direct point from one polar to the other polar. It’s in the depths, in the center, that you will find your clearest path to home.
You may have to dive repeatedly.
And you may end up drinking lots of salt water in the process.
But, with each dive, you will get clearer and closer to your home.
In the depths, in the center of things, your vision is akin to a bird’s eye perspective. You can make choices in each moment that take the most information into account. Informed decision making is the best possible kind.
How do you dive in?
Running, hiding and avoiding may seem like solutions, but they will always bring you further from home. Instead, dive into your fears. Spend time with them by cradling them in presence. Meditate (watch your thoughts), do spring cleanings, sit still and breathe.
Dive into the “problem(s).” Spend time learning as much as you can about it/them. Research. Yes, I believe in the power of Google. Sure, you may have to sift through some garbage to find the gems of information. But, over time, you will eventually find your way to the nuggets of truth that will lead you home.
Dive into the present moment. If the world is spinning around you in chaos, dive into it. Practice allowing it to unfold by watching it, instead of feeding into it. Ask yourself if slowing your reactions down will help. If choices need to be made quickly, see if incorporating a compass like this one will be of benefit: “What would love do?”
Allow yourself to feel the feelings that come up. Practice bringing presence again and again and again to each moment. And practice letting go repeatedly.
The Love Warrior Compass
On an emotional and relationship level, one of the most useful tools for finding your way home, is by utilizing the two vital questions of the Love Warrior Paradigm: “What would love do?” and “What would fear do?” and choosing love. We can use these questions as a compass to direct our path homewards in any situation.
In love relationships, we often fumble around in our uncertainty and fears. Asking ourselves “What would love do?” can direct us most effectively to the answers that we are seeking, if we long to live in alignment with the highest versions of ourselves in our relationships.
We can ask “What would love do for me?” and we can write those answers down. Then we can ask again, but this time with our love interest in mind: “What would love do for Charlie?” When the answers are the same, we can be certain that our choice to follow that route is the best choice. When the answers oppose one another, we will have to do some more digging to find a healthy compromise.
In relationships with more distant friends and families, we can use the same protocol and I am certain that it’s use will bring about the best outcome in the situations that we are struggling to navigate.
On a broader scale, “What would love do?” can bring us closer to the environments that we desire, to people that feel good to be around, and to housing situations that are good for us and good for the environment.
“What would love do?” can soften heated struggles in small and large groups. It can help us to make effective boundaries. It can bring about calm in the midst of turbulent storms. It can help us to navigate the tiniest choices, like whether or not to throw a piece of garbage on the ground, to the largest choices, like whether or not to merge your company with another.
Love is Home
The bottom line is that love is home. Love is the place where warmth, peace, friendship, collaboration, and joy reside.
While fear may then seem like the opposite of home, it is actually an arrow pointing to home. It can help to guide you towards love as well. And you benefit from looking at it and holding space for it, as much as for love; possibly even more so.
“What would fear do?” is a potent compass. Asking yourself “What would fear do?” in addition to the love version, will help you to decide whether or not you want to respond to your situation from a place of fear.
We all have fears. Sometimes, we aren’t aware that our emotional response is coming from fear. We just know that we feel agitated or uncomfortable. We may use distraction techniques to avoid those feelings, never getting to the route of why we are feeling that way.
And this is the most important moment. The uncomfortable one. The arrow.
Notice it. Make use of it. And stop.
Stop to ask the questions.
And then watch as you begin your journey to the center of your heart space, successfully bringing you home in the midst of any situation.