“I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty. I laugh when I hear that men go on a pilgrimage to find God.” ~Kabir
As a small child, I once asked my mother why God bothers us all the time. Obviously puzzled by the question, she asked where I’d gotten the idea that he bothers us. I reminded her to the hymn we often sang in church where the chorus included the words “No, never alone, no never alone, He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.” (Never Alone, lyrics author unknown) By my reasoning, my brother was bothering me when he never left me alone, so clearly God was promising to bother me all the time too!
Clearly, I’m managed to completely miss the point that the hymn writer was trying to convey, and I’m sure my mother corrected my understanding accordingly. However, regardless of the way the words are interpreted (as comfort or threat), it still clearly speaks to an understanding in that God is “out there” somewhere. He is something that is separate from (and clearly better than) us. That’s the concept of God that I grew up with, and I spent years trying to make sure I was where I needed to be (the right church, the right denomination, the right activities, the right disciplines) where I could find Him.
I had fleeting moments where it felt like maybe I’d succeeded, but most of the time, I felt like I was on my own. I was a thirsty fish.
I think one of the biggest shifts I’ve had in exploring new faith traditions altogether—whether it be Buddhism or Shamanism—is the concept that the Divine is everywhere, even inside me, all the time. There is no need to go searching to find the Divine (whatever we may call him/her/it). I can always stop and look deeply inside. I can always look around me. The Divine is never gone.
I’m glad I’ve reached the place where I no longer see that as a threat that I will always be bothered! I am just so relieved that I can stop searching. I’m already exactly where I need to be in any moment to find the Divine in my life. I can rest in that.
And I can now laugh with Kabir at my old self running hither and yon seeking that which I already had. I am no longer a thirsty fish.
A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a very fragile place, and it takes a good deal of vulnerability to share this personal journey of transformation so openly. Therefore, I need this to be a safe place for exploration and sharing for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight—or the expression of that experience or insight—are NOT welcome here and will be deleted.