I love this quote, “do what you’d do if you felt most secure.”
It’s like a message in bottle that’s just as alive now as it was 800 years ago! Meister Eckhart, a philosopher-monk who lived in the middle age, is credited as being it’s author. I had a dream about this guy when I was in the middle of a research project a few years ago. He’s ended up becoming a spiritual mentor of sorts. He was helpful then and still is now, at least in terms of the value his insights continue to bring me.
If you’re curious, here’s an image of Meister that’s managed to survive the ages.
I think this is a great quote to reflect on as it points to a mystery within human nature. It’s this;
The way we feel about ourselves matters.
We can build multi-billion dollar complexes to smash atoms, design computers to decode DNA, air condition 5 acre football stadiums, but none of it’s enough if we simply feel bad.
Why does feeling matter at all?
As human beings, feelings point us back to our nature. We aren’t just thinking or believing beings, we’re feeling beings. Feelings flow from what we think and believe, but ultimately it’s feelings that carry the most weight. For instance, you can live a life thinking, believing, and doing all the right things, and still fall short. If you don’t feel loved, you don’t have squat. And the biggest leap we all need to take is learning how to love ourselves. If we’re not connected to the type of love that radiates from within, we’re stuck with conditional love. And that won’t do the trick over the long haul. Probably most importantly, feelings point us back to an essential truth. Love is what ultimately sets us free.
So back to Meister Eckhart’s idea of doing what you’d do if you felt most secure. Let’s pause to think that through. If you felt absolutely secure, you wouldn’t actually need anything. Desire would go away. Doubt and fear too. You’d be left with love, so you’d act out of love. Love provides the keys to actualize freedom. This quote is a doozie, as it challenges us to reflect on what it would take for each of us to love and free ourselves.
So today, I want to encourage you reflect on feeling as a path to love and freedom. But just for a bit. Remember, thinking is not enough. Feeling is what’s important. By learning to engage feeling, we get a compass to find our way home.
Here’s a suggestion:
Self love is an art that starts with believing in yourself. Which means believing in your ability to care for yourself, manage, and direct your life. Believing starts with thinking, so I’d encourage you to start there. If you’ve lost trust in your ability to create happiness, do it anyway. The act of repeating these thoughts over time will influence what you believe and how you feel about yourself.
So simply start by repeating this basic thought, “I am good enough.” It’s a powerful mantra. Again, if you find yourself battling this thought, or feeling like a charlatan for thinking it, keep going. See that as a signal to invest more. Remember, you may have spent a lifetime thinking and believing otherwise, so this takes some effort. But start with thinking, because it tends to be easier than trying to start by believing or feeling the ultimate outcome. It’s much easier to get traction with thinking. Imagine if I said, so just FEEL different, or stop believing the thoughts you have! Not easy to start from there…
Every day, practice this art of thinking as the path to believing in yourself. Remember love grows where love flows. But also realize it’s work to tend a garden. You will have to work consistently at this!
Here’s a video and a episode where I wade into these things