This article was contributed by my good friend and colleague Kalem Fergusson and it was born out of a conversation we were having together. Kalem captured the
insight so beautifully, I had to share it here for you.
Solace, Or a Solution? 🧐
I was having a deep conversation with a close friend and colleague, Nikon J Gormley the other day, and there came a tipping point in the conversation where we both had seen something deeply, not because we tried, but because it naturally occurred to us.
Since then, I’ve been exploring it and seeing it for myself, and I’m going to share what I see, because I see that it reflects the nature of how we create our experiences in some cases.
I was sitting outside of a post office and about to mail a package while we were talking. No agenda in the conversation, nowhere to get, nothing to do. Then there came a point where we both just got really quiet. And not the quiet in terms of silence, but the kind of quiet that happens in the mind when you stumble across a truth of some sort. 🧘♂️
What I saw was that... It seems when we’re faced with anything in our lives, especially when we think we don’t know what to do, and especially “decisions” of what to do, or not to do...
One of two things happen:
1️⃣ The first is that we run on an assumption that there’s something to do about where we’re at (especially in states of pain, discomfort and change/transformation), in order to move forward. As if life is running on a linear timeline and we’ve got to keep up with the actions required to change, or we’ll fall behind.
It seems to me, that this is where most of us play.
“Well what should I do about it?”, is a question often asked when faced with a decision, whether we ask ourselves or someone else. 🤔
And what my friend and I had seen, is that more often than not, this doesn’t really come from a guided place. It’s more an attempt at self-soothing and solace from the discomfort of being still in a place of uncertainty.
Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t, but it almost always just leads to another “hard decision” because it’s just based on overcoming something. And I’ve realized that as long as we carry the story that there’s something to overcome all of the time, there will be. We’ll create it.
This is where the need for “Doing something about it” arises, as we seek solace.
And it’s not to say that action is never valuable, because it is. In fact it’s going to be the only thing to create tangible results most of the time. And what I’m pointing to (in my experiences) is that there’s 2 distinct ways we can take action.
Which is either seeking solace (which almost always feels forced and un-aligned in some way, but is a temporary soothing mechanism to thought-created discomfort), or seeking a solution (which almost always has to do with waiting a little longer to truly SEE something, as we sit with the discomfort/pain).
2️⃣ The second, being the solution, is more about just sitting with what’s present until I see something with new eyes. The discomfort to my ego/habitual thinking equates to a fire. Burning relentlessly as I sit with it. The longer I sit in the discomfort of the story, the more I think I’ll burn alive if I don’t do anything about it soon enough. But there’s a threshold that I hadn’t seen there for years until I’d allowed myself to sit a little longer.
It seems to me, that the solution lies in sitting in the discomfort of the fire long enough for the ego to burn, because at our core, that same fire exists. My story burns up and I become the fire of nothingness and uncertainty. Yet without a story, this is nothing but a possibility.
And from here, because there’s nothing left in the way to burn, all I have left is the warmth, and what interestingly happens is that it just occurs to me what to do, if anything, at some point. 🔥
But this “What To Do” is different. It’s deep, it’s guided, it’s aligned with who I am, and not based on keeping anything safe or preserved. It often leads to radical change and transformation, but feels effortless because it’s from a place of our true nature, in which personal/habitual thinking has burned away, and the only Thought left, is that of truth.
From here, we have all the solutions we’ve ever wanted, usually in the form of “seeing” something new. Our lens of the world becomes clear and there’s not many “decisions” to make, we either know what to do or we don’t, and that becomes okay.
The only requirement is to return to the path that leads home. And rest assured that the same path Always. Leads. Home. 🛤
Even in the midst of construction, chaos and what seems like closed roads.
It seems to me that when I’m in the space, there’s not “Problems” in my life. Whenever I’m faced with something, the only question becomes...
Am I on the path, or not?
Just wanted to share some thoughts.
Oh! And what if you were to try this on today: 👇
Make a little more space for more conversations with friends and colleagues that have absolutely no agenda, nowhere to get, and nothing to do. You may be surprised at what happens.
AND my challenge to all, is to sit in the discomfort for a little longer the next time there’s an impulse to “do something about it”. 💥