The Open Road

Blog Post

Share this

By Naveen Radha Dasi

We are amazing beings, Geryon is thinking. We are neighbors of fire.

–Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red

You Do Not Belong Here

You do not belong to this world.

Your body is made of earth, but you are not your body. Your thoughts are woven of a thousand years of dreaming, but you are not your thoughts. You are something else entirely and you know it.

Your own name feels foreign in your mouth. You say it again and again until the syllables are worn down like river rocks and just as heavy on your tongue. Whose name is this? Whose voice is this? What is it in you that snaps to attention—“Yes, that’s me, I’m here”—at hearing those meaningless sounds?

You sign letters, contracts, and checks with your name, but you are not your name.

Your memories play before your eyes. You still wince, recalling how she said those words, how they drilled that tooth, how you made that terrible mistake—but you are not your memories.

You watch your face in the mirror. Early morning, your eyelids a little puffy and your skin a little dry. Who is that? You tip your head; the person in the mirror tips theirs. You get up close, staring into those dilated pre-dawn pupils, your slow-grinding pre-dawn mind trying to figure out who is staring back at you but there is only endless black like two deep wells, like something the lost protagonist of a Japanese novel might crawl into and crawl back out to find the whole world has changed.

But you are not your face.

You are not your job or your relationship or what other people expect of you. You are not your gender, your ethnicity, your nationality, or your political views. Your essence will not be found in any demographic survey or coiled strand of DNA.

You are something else entirely and you know it.

You do not belong here or anywhere, not in this world or any other. Your soul is like God, a wide open sky. You have no weight to tread upon the ground.

You search for happiness like a fish throwing itself upon the shore. Flopping, gasping, you will have no respite until you let the rising tide sweep you back into your element.

Your heart aches with a longing that nothing in the world can fulfill. No amount of money, recognition, pleasure, or even human affection can satisfy that void within your soul. Everything the world has to offer is dust in your hands.

You wander from one end of the Earth to the other, catching everywhere a fragrance whose source eludes you. Finally, you find yourself empty-handed and sit down right where you are. You have nothing. You know nothing. Nothing belongs to you and you do not belong to anything.

If you could call anything “you” and “yours,” it would be the alluring emptiness of nowhere to go and nothing to do, or your soft smile when you say goodnight to a good friend and, turning away onto the darkened street, you get to be no one again.

You Belong Here

You are exactly where you need to be, right here, right now.

You belong everywhere and to everything. You contain multitudes—infinity in the palm of your hand, eternity in an hour. You are wind and trees and time, and the silence of space between the stars, and the stars also.

You are bound to all of creation. You live in every atom and every atom lives in you. The breath of the cosmos surges through you into the world like life-giving rain, like the Ganges pouring down from Heaven.

You belong to the universe. You belong to life. You belong to God.

Where could you ever go that would not yield that transcendental sweetness of Presence? Where could you go that God is not?

You and your Beloved are never separated. Wherever you go, the One is with you in your heart, as your heart; as the deep, loving silence behind your every thought; as the air in your lungs, the spring in your step, the light in your eyes.

Where could you ever go where your heart is not?

Solitude and the crowd are the same to you. Kings and beggars, saints and criminals, family and strangers, eagles and blobfish—all God’s children, your brothers and sisters. From the peaks of the Himalayas to the Marianas trench, it is all God’s land.

Wherever you go, you are free. Your heart is free.

Wherever you go, you are at home.

Naveen Radha Dasi is a Hridaya Yoga teacher and a frequent contributor to our blog. You can read all of her posts here.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Pingback: The End of Your Life as You Know It

Leave a Reply

Latest Post
Making Consecration a Consistent Practice

Making Consecration a Consistent Practice

Making Consecration a Consistent Practice By Jessica Soares Hiking as a Doorway to God  “For God. With God. Through God. As God.” I repeated these words over and over again as I found myself hiking back up a very steep and long path after a particularly potent water purification ritual.

Read More
More Posts
Follow Us on Instagram