On the path of awakening, as we continue to heal, learn and grow, words and their meanings evolve as our ego aligns with inner-being (or the Soul). So, if I’d been asked to write about the word comfort thirty years ago, I would’ve painted a different picture. All our viewpoints are formulated from what we consider to be true, or from where we stand. The patterns and conditioning of our minds create the boundaries of our perception. As an analogy to the potentials of human consciousness, if I’m standing in central London, I can’t physically see New York (even though it exists) but if I look down from space (or on Google maps!) I can see them both.
Personal comfort can be experienced in many ways; a favourite chair, comfy clothes, comfort food, a feeling about how we look and feel ‘in our own skin’ or just living in a way we’re comfortable with. Comfort can also mean freedom from worries and pains, or even being comfortably off and having more luxuries in life than we perhaps need. Have you ever stopped to think though, when we give comfort, or alleviate the distress and suffering of another, that is so much closer to the heart of why we are here?
Whatever comfort means to you, it’s from the comfortless or most uncomfortable periods of our lives when we really shift and grow. Looking back, I can honestly say that discomfort is a window of opportunity for personal growth and spiritual transformation.
So here we are, in times of lockdown and pandemic, and yes, it’s uncomfortable because we feel restrained, limited and controlled. We are being forced to change routines, and live in ways we’d never imagined would one day become necessary. We are being forced to adapt, to change, to be more patient, to try new things, to stop doing some others, and to vary routines at work, at play and in the comfort of our own homes. In many ways, by becoming more isolated, more cut off from one another, we are spending more time in our own thoughts, and that is the problem, but it is also the answer, for upgrading the frequency of our thoughts is the core work of spiritual development.
Try to look at it another way; lockdown has provided you with an opportunity to develop your spiritual practice, for discomfort offers the chance to heal, learn and grow. When you are lost in the ups and downs of your everyday mind, it is impossible to realise spiritual comfort (or peace and joy) for interruptive thoughts come and go on waves of pointless commentary, dragging up memories, formulating opinions and making comparisons etc. So, the answer is to get your mind still, and strange as it may seem, lockdown gives you this possibility.
Rather than moaning about this and that, spreading divisive opinions, criticising others, feeling upset about what you can’t do, or developing thoughts of blame and guilt, just stop it all and GET STILL! Move away from the mind of ego and into stillness. Life is not just about you. Learn to control your everyday mind and teach it. Put it in its place. You have the ability to rise above your everyday mind because you have a powerful secret treasure within you, the consciousness of your Soul.
Of course, you are born with the freedom to choose how to life your life and each choice you make will determine the consequences you’ll face. And when you’ve journeyed long enough and deep enough, the identity of your ego will step aside to allow the intimate and subtle intelligence within you to actualise in the world.
As your awakening continues, you learn to yield, trust and align with the consciousness of the Soul, which is a state of being I call Soulness. Then, you begin to really experience the meaning of comfort. True comfort, a sustainable sense of peace and joy, manifests from how aligned our thoughts, words and actions are with the presence of the Soul.
Each of us has a Soul, for it is our universal built-in navigation system for finding and expressing meaning, purpose and fulfilment. The human Soul is a consciousness you can learn to recognise, realise or actualise on a day to day basis, and the more you do so, the closer you will come to it becoming your normal reference for everyday living.
Your Soul is not an imaginary entity or a religious ideal, it is a very real consciousness you have available to you at all times. It’s how universal intelligence exists and manifests through the human being. Spirit, God, Existence, the Divine, or Being (choose whichever label you prefer) comes to the earth plane through the vehicle of the Soul, in order to heal, learn and grow. Your Soul has lived many lives, and experienced many types of existence.
So how do you know when your Soul is communicating with you? You might begin with a gut feeling, an intuition, a sense of déjà-vu, a number of repetitive or interconnected coincidences and so on. As you continue to grow, you may well begin to hear, see and sense at a more sensitised or intimate level, a higher vibration or frequency.
So how do you know when you are coming closer to the living presence of your Soul? Well, your Soul will never order you, but will always be present to guide you. It will not judge you, but always come from a place of grounded wisdom and unconditional love. It will speak to you, and even through you, if you genuinely seek its counsel, but it will remain silent and invisible, if you ignore or overlook its abiding presence. And one day, when the day comes, it will be more than just a gut feeling, a voice or a guide, for it will be ….who you are.
Now that’s comforting.