Our challenge begins by examining these imperatives to discover for ourselves which of them brings us genuine happiness and authentic connection, which encourage us to discover our unique gifts, and which encourage us to turn away from what we personally experience and conform to what others tell us is in our best interest. One doesn’t need to look very far to see how self-limiting this relentless social conditioning is in actually satisfying our human yearnings for connection, meaning, love, and security. Has there ever been a time when people were suffering more from fear and anxiety than our present times? We have become so fearful that we will cling to any suggestion if it merely reduces our anxiety for a brief interlude. Yet even those who, through good fortune or titanic effort, manage to fulfill many of these social imperatives, fail to experience the genuine happiness, meaning, and connection they long for. Instead of authentic connection we settle for superficial relationships, instead of genuine happiness we settle for pleasant distractions all the while telling ourselves that the things we long for are just around the corner if we only try a little harder. Unfortunately this very conditioning that promises genuine happiness and authentic connection, love, and security if we do what we’re told is based on a faulty assumption that makes it virtually impossible to get what we work so hard to secure.
Only when we accept the inherent limitation of our conditioning and start letting them go are we able to become open-minded about the actual ways of securing our human yearnings. Only when we start to shift our focus from conditions outside of us to a direct relationship with our interior self, and listen to what our heart is asking of us, do we begin to move towards reclaiming our birthright as unconditionally loving beings having a human experience. It is only through experiencing our own capacity to love and then extending that loving energy into the world that we, and the world, begin to change, and the yearnings we have been seeking begin to blossom within us. This is our journey and our most precious and vital task and this is the path to the realization of the beauty, wonder, and power of our unconditionally loving spiritual nature - the same loving energy that supports the entire universe.