“I cannot live with myself any longer”

At the height of Eckhart Tolle’s mental distress, it was this sentence that served as a catalyst for spiritual awakening. *I cannot live with myself any longer*. As soon as he said it, he became acutely aware of the construct of the sentence, realised, whoa, there are two of us – the ‘myself’ that is creating all this mental suffering and the ‘I’ who is observing it and can’t live with it anymore. What he woke up to in that moment is that he, like all humans, is not the sum total of the mind, but rather the consciousness, the awareness that observes the mind.
It’s this consciousness that we learn to connect with through meditation and mindful awareness. In this place of consciousness and presence, we disentangle from our egoic thinking mind, from its incessant stories, and realise that the mind is not *who* we are. We have a mind, we are not the mind. From that place, we have choice and control – not over our thoughts, not over the world around us, but about how we relate to it all.
So when we are at that point of thinking ‘I can’t live with myself any longer’ what we’re really saying is I can’t live under the weight of all these stories, beliefs and judgements, most of which have been conditioned into me and are not actually mine to begin with because in truth, they are completely misaligned with who I really am at the core of my being. And I guess the liberating and cool thing is that we don’t have to continue to live under them, to be driven and controlled by them. As soon as we bring mindful awareness to our inner world and watch our thoughts without being reflexively controlled by them, we’ve begun the process. Bit by bit by bit, we unhook from mental suffering and return to presence, to awareness and ultimately to peace. We wake up.
If you’re new to all this, hang in there – it is hard work but so, so very worth it. If you are well along your journey to awakening, keep that shit up Rockstar, the world needs your presence more than ever!

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