Portfolio of Hope

‘Realising one’s true nature is liberation.’

– Ramana Maharsi

We, wrongfully, assume that we have a ‘separate’ self,
ego-centric motives lying behind much of what we do,
so desperate we are to inflate our self-image as much as possible/
to reaffirm our sense of self*

*(despite this sense of self not being who we actually are at all,
but, a mere figment of our imagination,
albeit a very realistic one)…

And yet, our entire culture is under the egos spell,
this being the very thing which drives capitalism,
an egotistical belief that we are all inherently different
when we are,
in fact,
all one and the same.

This is the root cause of all conflict, I feel-
the ego.
The ego which, ultimately, operates out of unconsciousness-
the state most of us are in,
unaware of the true nature of existence-
that we are all spiritual beings experiencing a material existence.

Even when we are conscious to the true nature of existence though,
even when we are spiritual,
having been awakened to the fact that we are all one and the same,
the ego can still get in the way.

Take me, for example…

Despite me regarding myself as a spiritual person-
I very much believe that we are all simply manifestations* of the universe-
*not ‘creations’, but ‘manifestations’-
my ego is still very loud…

It is my ego which lies at the root of so many,
if not all,
of my struggles.

It is my ego which sees me…

Constantly questioning my sense of self,
constantly overthinking who I am,
how I look,
how I speak,
how I’m perceived-
to the detriment of my mental health.

You see, I’m in recovery from an eating disorder
(I say ‘in recovery’ and not ‘recovered’, even though it’s been 5 years because, like addiction, I don’t think the ‘pull’ of an eating disorder ever really goes away)…
even though I know that my body is the least interesting thing about me,
even though I know that my weight really doesn’t matter
at all,
it still plays on my mind,
body image still being a very real struggle for me.

Worrying too much about what people will think of me/
whether they will look at me and think I’m ‘too big’,
‘too weird’
overthinking literally everything,
my life at the moment seems to be characterised by such intrusive thoughts,
thoughts which are, undoubtedly, driven by the ego.

We can’t blame ourselves for this, though.
It’s not ‘vanity’-
wanting to lose weight isn’t really because we value thinness.

I’d argue that most of us feel pretty indifferent about the weight of other people, in fact…

I’d be willing to bet that, upon meeting someone for the first time, what you take away isn’t their body shape or their size or anything to do with, what we are told is conventional ‘attractiveness’, what you do take away is their passion for things, their heart, their intellect- all of the things which have absolutely nothing to do with their physical appearance, but everything to do with their kind soul.

Why would you be an exception to that?
You wouldn’t.
You aren’t.
And yet, we have such a problem ourselves,
(talking from my experience, anyway,
but I think the female experience is largely this, too-
as we are brought up in a society that does tell us that the way we look is the most important thing about us/
that does instil in us a sense of fear that we won’t be liked if we’re not the ‘right’ size,
that does, ultimately, promote disordered eating.

The thing is though, such a society is never going to not tell us these things,
such fear mongering is what it thrives on.
It wants us to hate our bodies,
fear sells,
it wants things to sell,
sales perpetuate capitalism.

And so,
we get to the root of it all…
The ego is a product of the capitalist society we inhabit
in which ‘looking‘ nice, is seen as more respectable than ‘being’ nice.

Trying to like yourself, let alone love yourself, is therefore so so hard to do in today’s society,
a revolutionary concept, even,
for, society just isn’t ‘geared‘ for that sort of thing,
especially not when you’re a woman…

Women are supposed to be kept preoccupied with their appearance because, if they’re not, then men won’t like it. Especially not the business men who earn billions upon billions every year profiting from the collective female struggle, selling us diet pills and slim shakes and laxatives and all the other crap they tell us will get us to the ‘perfect’ size and, (because getting to the perfect size is all we’re good for), will make us so ‘happy’ and ‘fulfilled’ in life.

What a load of crap
when the reality is that nothing external will ever make us truly happy,
we can only find happiness when we are truly happy within
not a happiness based on how we look,
but on who we are.

By all means, look after your body-
eat a balanced diet,
buy yourself clothes that make you feel good,
but remember that, in doing these things, it is to do precisely that
to make you feel good.
Not to make people like you more/
not to make you more ‘attractive’,
not to inflate the ego…

Just remember that;
we are all spiritual beings having a human experience for a little while.

The things we think are the be all and end all couldn’t be further from this-
they mean absolutely nothing.
Take from that what you will…

And, another reality to keep in mind is that…
most people just really do not care anyway.
Most people couldn’t care less what you weigh.
And, the people who do care?
They’re not worth having in your life.

Why would I want to be around people who make me feel like I need to change myself?
I wouldn’t.
I don’t.
I want to be around all the people who make me feel alive/
who help me to see that I am not ‘wrong’,
that none of us are ‘wrong’-
how can we be
when we are,
stardust? –
when we are…

The stars that light up the night sky, that, glancing upwards on a clear night, give us a sense of perspective like no other,

we are,
The sun that rises and falls every day, that, just through it appearing can lift the mood of the nation,

we are,
The moon that reminds us that, if you look carefully enough, even when it seems like there is nothing but darkness all around you, there is always light to be found, however small,

we are
The clouds,

we are
The waves,

we are
The breeze,

we are
The universe,

we are


So, when, like me, you do find your ego getting in the way, clouding what you know to be the truth-
that we are all just manifestations of a higher power-
bring yourself back to the present/
bring yourself home
back home to the awareness of who you truly are,
of who we truly are-
at one with the universe.

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