I do not consider myself a vain person. I tend not to fuss too much about my clothes or wear a lot of makeup. On the day that Angus and I first met, my hairdresser asked me to come in the back door and go up the back stairs so I wouldn’t be seen before he had time to do a makeover on me. I was a student at the time and got free haircuts if I agreed to model for him. Angus was the photographer flown in to do the shoot. My hairdresser was concerned I wouldn’t get picked in my raw student state. The funniest part is that I met Angus on the back stairwell pre-makeover. Needless to say, I made the cut in more ways than one.
However, my vanity has recently been surfacing. I am developing these white bumps all over my face. They aren’t pimples. They are actual lumps. When I asked my doctor about them, he was dismissive. He said they are small cysts. He told me not to worry about them and to wear sunscreen. I do have it on my to-do list to see a dermatologist, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. In the meantime, I notice when I look at my face, I see the bumps right away. My eyes are drawn to them. And when a new one appears, I feel concerned. There is also a feeling of being out of control. I have no idea why they are showing up and why they are multiplying.
As I navigate this very human experience, I am very grateful for understanding the nature of thought. It is clear to me that the more I think about these bumps the more I suffer. The bumps are neutral. It is my thinking in the form of judgment and resistance to them that makes having them painful for me. And probably the most troubling part is not feeling in control of them.
This is such a powerful lesson for me, to not freak out when I feel out of control. It is a blessing to see that I at times I have some choice over how much I think about the bumps, but the even bigger freedom is knowing that I am okay even when I do. I love that I can be with my humanness with acceptance. My understanding that thought creates my experience, and that it is temporary and illusory does not stop me from getting gripped by it at times. But when I do, I don’t need to worry. I don’t need to judge myself for losing it or getting stirred up. I am doing the best that I can in any given moment, just as we all are, and that has to be good enough.
It is humbling to see how easily I can drop into the misunderstanding that real beauty is only skin deep and that what I look like means something. I know I am getting just a small taste of this, but I feel tremendous compassion for the pain and suffering this misunderstanding causes people and especially women. Finding the truth inside of me is what sets me free. Yes, I can probably get rid of or ameliorate the bumps on the outside, but the freedom is in knowing that my looks have no relationship to who I am on the inside.
The true identity we each have is far more magnificent and beautiful than anything our looks can convey. I am grateful for the bumps on my face helping me to remember this and to see it in a deeper way. I know I am not defined by my looks, my bank account, my relationships, or my achievements. My true nature cannot be boxed in by labels, not even the good ones.
My reminder to you is to remember the value of who you are is beyond measure. The feeling of your true nature will remind you of this. It is the feeling you experience when you drop out of your thoughts and into the present moment. It is the experience of peace that overtakes you for no good reason. It is beyond labels of all kinds. And in that state of mind, you know you are enough. The superficial you drops away, and you feel the peace of who you are.
As humans, it is easy to forget that we aren’t just the separate individual “I” of our busy minds. We are also part of the greater whole and connected to the underlying peace that is all of us. The more I look in this direction, the less my bumps matter. The less I worry in general, and the more I feel inspired to share the love that is inside me.
I am reminded of the allegory of the long spoons. It is a parable that illustrates the difference between heaven and hell. In both places, people are forced to eat with long spoons. In hell, the people are unable to lift food to their mouths because the spoons are too long and are starving. In heaven, the people feed one another across the table and are happy and full.
It is easy to nurture each other when we see we are all one. It is natural to be kind when we are not caught up in our individualistic worries. Just like the mushrooms in a field. On the surface, they look separate, but underneath the ground, they are all connected. What is it like for you to look in the direction of your connectedness? What drops out of your mind and becomes unimportant?
Rohini Ross is excited to present The Soul-Centered Series: Psychology, Spirituality, and the Teachings of Sydney Banks with the original students of Sydney Banks in Santa Monica, CA starting October 2018. She is passionate about helping people wake up to their true nature. She is a transformative coach and trainer, and author of Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1). She has an international coaching practice helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of well-being, resiliency, and success. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, watch her Vlogs with her husband, Angus Ross, and subscribe to her weekly blog on her website, rohiniross.com.