You’re Much Bigger than You Think


Ralph Clevenger

I know, I know…. you don’t want to hear this.  However, fear not.  I’m not talking about getting on the scale and seeing a number that makes you queasy or putting on your favorite jeans and getting a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach because you can hardly zip them up. In fact, I’m not talking about anything physical at all.  I’m talking about that part of you that has always been and will always be; that part that existed long before you had a physical form and will exist long after the physical part of you is gone.

If you are like me, you probably live most, if not all, of your life on the surface, like the tip of this iceberg.  You identify almost exclusively with your thoughts and emotions.  Your happiness is largely dependent on your current life situation.  Most of your thoughts are either about the past or about the future. You may even live with a constant subtle feeling of dread or fear, of which you are hardly aware because it feels so normal.  Life is mainly about being successful and feeling accepted.  Like the tip of this iceberg which has no control of where it goes, you, too, may feel as though you have little control over your life. You may suspect there are forces acting upon you that you can’t specifically identify. At best, you try to go with the flow and hope to not hit too many grade 5 rapids along the way.

Maybe at some point you begin to question your limited “tip of the iceberg” understanding of yourself.  You explore more deeply within and discover there is another enormous part of yourself just below the surface.  Here you discover hidden beliefs which have had an incredibly strong influence on your life. When examined closely, you may find that many of them have not served you in positive ways and you begin to replace them with beliefs that do. You also may find old thinking patterns that have continued to replay in your mind, like an old eight track tape stuck on repeat.  You realize that those outdated patterns may have been helpful when you were a child, but now they are no longer needed.  You awaken to the fact that you have an ego, which isn’t the real you, but has been running “The Daily Drama Show”.  As you learn to step back and observe the ego, you realize that it thrives on creating fear.  It now has become painfully clear that your ego can no longer be a valuable source of wisdom for you and, in fact, you decide that the wisest thing to do is separate yourself from it.  And, as you learn to do so, you are delighted to find that you are much bigger than you thought. In fact, you feel a bit like the beggar at the city gates, who, hungry and dressed in rags, has spent his entire life sitting on an old wooden crate.  One day a traveler asks him what is inside his crate. Though he has never looked within, he is adamant it is empty.  However, because of the persistent encouragement of the kind traveler, the beggar agrees to pry it open. And, of course, we all know what he finds inside.

In the beginning of this great discovery, you spend much of your time moving up and down the iceberg.  There are times when you are back focused only on the tip of the iceberg, forgetting completely that there is so much more beneath the surface.  Fear creeps back in, as you get caught up in “The Daily Drama Show” of life.  Then, there are other times, when you sink below the surface and remember, with gratitude, that you are much bigger than you thought.  As time goes by you learn to keep more and more of your focus beneath the surface while allowing a smaller part to venture up to the tip.  Dealing with life’s situations now is so much easier because you are not totally invested only in what is happening above.

Yet, would you believe you are bigger still? As you remove yourself from the clutches of your ego mind, spend more time in the quiet below the surface, select beliefs that serve you, and replace old negative thinking patterns with positive truths and affirmations, you begin to sense there is yet another level of your self.  You become aware that there is a calm, powerful and perfect presence beyond the iceberg, of which you are part. There, you find the peace, fulfillment, and joy you have always sought through your life experiences. Like the beggar, you realize that what you wanted was always with you. As you contemplate this, you are amazed to discover that you are far bigger than you ever imagined.  You are not just the entire iceberg, you are the whole ocean, too.

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