Have you heard the story of the golden Buddha? It’s the true story of a Buddha statue made of pure gold. The gold statue was covered over with plaster to prevent it from being stolen during an invasion. The war went on so long that the Buddha was forgotten. Two hundred years later, the statue crashed to the ground and the plaster broke off revealing its true identity. Gold, pure gold. In 2013, it was estimated to be worth 250 million dollars.
You and I are like the golden Buddha. Our true identity is pure gold. As we grow up, we are plastered with layers of ideas, beliefs, constructs, expectations, projections, and more. We are told what we should and should not do, who we should and should not be, and how we must and must not live. We lose the true sense of ourselves when we are still very young. We begin to see the world and ourselves through the stories we’ve constructed or been taught. “Love is what we’re born with. Fear is what we learn (Marianne Williamson).”
I had a story about myself that I was slow. I believed that story for decades. I believed that everyone around me was smarter. I was embarrassed and ashamed. All too often, I wouldn’t speak up out of fear of being “discovered”. I thought my degrees and certifications would make me feel smarter but they didn’t. I felt like a fraud.
I had a story that I was broken. As a result, I struggled with shame for most of my life. I simply couldn’t measure up to what was expected of me and to what I expected of myself. I tried to live the story of what I believed this culture, my family, my church, and my friends expected me to be but I couldn’t do it. I was miserable. Depression and anxiety were my companions.
Plaster piled upon plaster covered my true essence. When I crashed to the ground in my break-down break-through almost 20 years ago, I saw gold in the cracks. I couldn’t believe it! Why had no one told me? And yet, there were a few folks here and there who did tell me, who did see. I simply couldn’t hear them through the thick plaster stories.
I believe we have two misunderstandings that trip us up in life. One, we don’t know who we truly are. We attempt to live our lives from the outside in, that is to say, we are constantly looking outside of ourselves for happiness, peace, and wellbeing when all of it resides within us. We don’t understand that we are born with love, that our essence is gold, that we are divinity, star stuff.
Secondly, we don’t understand that we are living in the feeling of our thinking. That is to say, we experience our story about what’s happening out there rather than what’s actually out there. Think about it a moment. Why is it that you can line up 100 people and give them the exact same scenario and each person will have a different experience of it? I have a different experience of the same situation from day to day! One day the driver who cuts me off is a jerk. The next day, I feel sad for them or I barely notice it at all. What changed? My story about it. When your story (thinking) changes, your feelings and experience change.
You could think of stressful or exponential thinking (the story you spin) as the plaster that covers your true essence. You are not your thinking. You are the golden Buddha. You are priceless. You are not broken. Thoughts come and go. They change constantly, sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly but they always change.
What would it mean to you to understand who you truly are? What would it mean to you to understand that you are not broken? What would it mean to you to understand that what you seek—clarity, happiness, peace, and wellbeing—already resides within you?
I know how far fetched that can seem in times of sheer darkness. How impossible it feels. I do understand. I’ve been in that hopeless place. To the very brink. Even sheer darkness and hopelessness shift and change. It is not who you are. It is not who you are.
Behind the plaster of stressful thinking and spinning stories, lies your true essence. You are the golden Buddha. Look in that direction until you come home to yourself. There you will find what you seek.
If this blog post resonates with you or if you’d like to explore a new perspective on who you are really and why it matters, I’m opening up a couple of times on my calendar this week for the first two people who respond, at no charge to you. Contact Me