The possibility that I was the source of my problems eluded me for the majority of my adult life. During that time, the time before awakening, fear was relentless in its intricate schemes to keep me convinced that everyone else was the problem. I remained trapped in an unconscious cycle of initiation, bonding, and separation that manifested in all areas of my life. Clarity and the end of this cycle of suffering came one day in mid-Spring of my thirty-fifth trip around the sun. It was a few days after my career employer invited me to go home and never come back. The initial shock of being unemployed again had run its course, but the fearful thoughts about my future lingered still.
There was nothing significant happening that day. In fact, the day was just like any other and my life seemed normal with its elation/depression roller coaster, repeated job loss, close relationships, broken relationships, family, friends, codependent relationships and a colorful patchwork of all the things we rationalize as part of a normal human experience. The clarity came as I was walking up a stairway after a meeting with some friends. I was listening to conversations among the people around me while struggling to ignore my own thoughts of anger, resentment, and justification about my recent job loss when a single thought captured my attention: maybe it’s me.
The thought came from nowhere with a gasp of awareness that brought me pause. That moment of pause allowed willingness to surface and a few seconds later, I found myself asking a friend if he knew anyone I could talk to professionally. He asked why and without preparing an answer I said, “Because, I’m thinking maybe I’m the problem and it’s not everyone else like I’ve always believed.” He said he did know someone and proceeded to write a name and phone number on a business card he pulled from his shirt pocket. I contacted the counselor he suggested and over the course of the next few years, that relationship along with books and workshops I allowed into my life changed everything.
The simple idea that maybe it’s me was not an easy notion to consider, and it took a great deal of willingness and work for me to be able to look with honesty. However, once I began the process, it led me happily to new discoveries of pain and suffering I had never experienced before. More importantly, it also led to experiences of profound joy and happiness that compelled me to continue looking inward despite the ‘bad’ stuff looking exposed.
Because of these three words, maybe it’s me; I now know joy and peace on levels I have never known before. I now experience ‘letting go’ and ‘acceptance’ as a natural state rather than techniques to use in the moments when I am unable to let go, or accept. I now see people and relate to them on deeper levels than I have ever known before and I am able to let these simple words be my guide in most situations where I feel anything other than peace.
Today I have the willingness to notice how my thoughts, judgments, unconscious labeling, and lack of self-love and nurturing all work to convince me that I am the innocent victim. It all contributes to my hidden belief that others are wrong and I am right. Without these three simple words, I do not know happiness, I do not experience peace, and I do not reach my full potential.
The truth is I am innocent; we are all beautifully innocent in our wholeness. When I lose sight of that I become frightened, I attack, and I blame others in my thoughts, words, and actions. When I see the world through the eyes of “maybe it’s me”, I experience the beauty and love that is Life.
Maybe it’s me: Three simple words that changed my life forever.