Turning Survival Inside Out

Kerri Lake
631 words, 9K views, 7 comments

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You know how people will lament when they say, “Time to get back to reality,” or “…yeah, but that’s not how the real world works”? What is the real world? Who suggested that toil, despair and various flavors of enslavement are what’s “real”?

That despair distills from a relationship with survival. Humanity has been feeding itself the message that survival is hard, survival is good, survival of the fittest is best. There is also a saying that goes something like, “If you’re only ever given a hammer, then everything else will look like a nail.” When the focus of life is on survival, then everything looks like a competitive struggle.

Life itself is not trying to survive. Life begets life. Life celebrates itself in every subtlety and every overwhelm. Every aspect of life remains open and flexible, available to what might be required for its perpetuation. Even in an environment that seems to be lacking the means, somehow, life finds its way.

As a human, with this super-fast processor we call a mind-brain (which I have affectionately nicknamed “Thinkytown” or “Thinky Town” if you prefer), you have an option in every moment to look around and see survival or look around and see life. You’ll be right either way. You will find both.

For some, being right is everything! It’s their whole life. They don’t know who they are without a struggle to be right. So, let’s let them be right, and then ask, “show me the truth.”

Truth is in the realm of the heart. You won’t find just one right Truth or wrong Truth that the heart sequesters away, teasing you with unsolvable puzzle after unsolvable puzzle, calling it “the real world.” Truth is a feeling. It sings to you with an absence of conflict, a lightness that requires no defense and offers no offense. To welcome a relationship with truth is to welcome an intimacy from which you cannot hide. Coming from a world built to prioritize survival, intimacy with anything can feel like being followed by a sniper.

The further you go, the less you want to hide. Truth offered through the heart has this way of turning survival inside out. The heart says, “I see you and offer no conflict.” In that light, survival very quickly reveals itself as a terribly inefficient approach to life. In the lightness of the heart, all of survival’s sticky needs and tangled “yeah-buts” trip over each other in a comedy [...].

This is the essence of life. Lightness of being. Survival doesn’t know where to look for lightness. Thinkytown couldn’t hold onto it if it tried. But the heart knows its music.

In lightness of being there is space for everything. Nothing is excluded, not even the stickiest, crustiest need that drops on your head, dusty from sitting on the top shelf for a couple of decades where someone stuffed it - an emotional trauma experienced before there were tools to navigate it. Survival keeps lots of trinkets on the shelf, and each and every one of them has a fantastic story that, when told by the heart, somehow always ends up being funny.

Enjoy the stories. Love the details. The essence of life finds you in the moments when you take a break from surviving. Once you open to intimacy with what’s true for you, the heart will guide you with unfailing love.


Kerri Lake is an author, educators and has been communicating with horses since she was a kid. :) Excerpted from here.

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