I’m going to tell you a story. You’ve heard it before. It’s really the only soul-story that has ever been told.
It starts with restlessness, a longing for more.
Or it starts with flashes of blinding light from an elusive pot of gold, streaks of an unreliable happiness dependent on something—a drug, a lover, a physical object—that reminds you of a light that’s more lasting and then fades away.
Or it starts with a fire: a divorce or a death tears open the smallness of your life and reveals that something—a vastness—is impossibly near. And always has been. The bridge between you and that vastness is invisible yet you try everything to find it. You see this guru, you hear that imam. You travel to a shrine at the peak of some pass out-high mountain with a name you can’t pronounce. You chant mantras. You have no sex. You have tantric sex. You sleep to interpret your dreams, and then you meditate with Buddhists to awaken.
You search the world to find the treasure you can sense is right here nearby, like your shadow. It is elusive and yet as ordinary and essential as the air you breathe. You go everywhere in search of this treasure, not realizing that what you are searching for is with you all the time. Finally, out of exhaustion, disillusionment, and sheer hopelessness, you stop. You end your search.
You come home.
You return to your just-okay life, to your so-so job, to your friends who sometimes love you and sometimes leave you too much alone. Then one day it dawns on you: There’s still a place you haven’t looked. You stand in the center of your shabby little studio apartment. You don’t have everything you wanted for yourself. You have maybe very little of what you had imagined for yourself at age 13 but you’re smiling anyway. For the first time in your life you see that there’s absolutely no reason, no crisis, no something you lack that could keep you from letting that smile break open your face.
Your smile is not the vastness you were searching for, but it’s a start. It’s a glimmer of the pot of gold you were restless to find, the Promised Land, the “lost” treasure—that certain immutable something that no one and nothing can disturb or take from you no matter what comes your way. It’s your own inner Shangri-La. It’s your freedom.
In any given moment, in any situation life hands you, you can stand very still in the center of yourself and know what exists within you. You have the power to access it as easily and effortlessly as taking this next breath.
This is the story that so many of us keep living out—the inexorable search to find what we can never be without and have, in fact, never lost.
A psychic once told me that I would find true love in the most unexpected place. She was right.
I did. Within.
Meggan Watterson is a spiritual mentor, speaker, and scholar of the Divine Feminine who inspires women to live from the audacity and authenticity of the voice of their soul.
This excerpt is printed with permission from the book REVEAL, by Meggan Watterson. It is published by Hay House (April 3, 2013) and available at all bookstores or online at www.hayhouse.com or http://bit.ly/reveal-book.