We each live -- moment to moment -- in a world the size of our understanding. This means many encouraging things, beginning with this important discovery: When we feel small, of no consequence, or emotionally powerless to rise above some pressing pain, it's because we are living in and from unconscious parts of ourselves that are, in themselves, narrow and cut off from the bright and broad flow of Real Life. From this more psychological perspective, it is easy to see how in moments like these we might be deceived into believing that aching is the best we can do. Now let me give you a simple illustration of how it happens that we find ourselves captives of this constricting inner condition.
Some years ago you could buy special drinking straws that turned plain milk into chocolate milk. The insides of these straws were coated with a cocoa-like substance. When you drew the milk through the straw into your mouth, the milk would dissolve the chocolate coating and lend the milk its flavor. Well, in much the same way, whenever we look at ourselves or our lives through the eyes of these low-level states, we draw our sense of self through their restricted content. We take on the "flavor" of that negativity and everything seems cramped, dark, or futile. But here is the key lesson:
Even though there are times in our lives when it feels as if happiness has shut us out -- or that conditions that seem to be beyond our ability to deal with are closing in on us -- the truth of these moments is not as it appears. We have not reached the end of what is possible for us to become -- we have only reached the end of our present understanding. Now here is a deeper look at this crucial insight: The only things that belittle us, that dominate us, or that cause us to despair over our lives are those unseen parts of us that dominate the way in which we see our life. Said in yet one more way, no one ever feels small in life who hasn't first been fooled into believing that there is nothing bigger than those small thoughts and feelings through which he or she is looking at life.
Imagine trying to gauge the majesty of a mountain through a microscope and you have a glimpse of what we face when realizing the unlimited estate of our Hidden Self. It isn't that we need to add bigger or brighter things to our lives to make us feel better about ourselves. We have all tried looking at life through rose-colored glasses and who can still believe that adding some new tint to the shade of one's troubles is the same as ridding oneself of their shadows?
What we really need is a whole new understanding of life -- one that is realized through a new order of awareness that lets us see how we mistook ourselves for being small in the first place!