What Can You Even Hold Onto?

I feel unmoored because a very significant relationship has entered a new era. For context, this is a person who knows everything about me – all the things I want to keep hidden, my missteps, the self-destructive thoughts and actions – everything. She’s witnessed every crisis and every celebration from the last 12 years. She’s offered guidance, care, and support through it all and played an enormous role in me being the person I am today. In other words, she’s a true MVP. But now she’s not available like she was before and my inner child is freaking out.

It’s not only about the change in this relationship. It’s about the many, many changes over the past month. The things I thought were steady have turned out to be not so steady. Other relationships have dropped off, regular events have come to an end, and people died. All of it has me asking, “What can I even hold onto? What can I count on?”

What’s funny is that sometimes the universe gives me the answers to my questions in advance. Earlier this month, I had a conversation with a friend about precisely this topic. I told him the constant, unchangeable, permanent entity in our shared spiritual tradition is called Sat and that when we meditate, we are practicing Iishvara prańidhána. “Iishvara” means controller of the universe and “prańidhána” means to adopt something as a shelter. Therefore, Iishvara prańidhána means to adopt the controller of the universe as a shelter. It means to take refuge in the controller of the universe. In other words, to remember what is truly unchangeable.


We all need an anchor. Photo by Grant Durr on Unsplash

The joke’s on me because I thought I was having a casual conversation about spiritual philosophy with a newcomer when instead I was laying the groundwork for a huge spiritual lesson. My inner child, and other parts of me, want good things to stay the same. We want cherished relationships to remain steady and ever-present but they don’t. The nature of this universe is to change and I can no more stop things from changing than I can control when the sun sets.

When I contemplate how everything changes, I could curl into the fetal position and rock myself or I could do what my spiritual teacher suggests, which is to remember what is actually permanent, unchangeable, constant, and steady. Yes, it’s the Cosmic Consciousness but there’s also a relationship with that entity that’s important to remember.

He tells us that Cosmic Consciousness is our one true friend, and even more than that, the Divine Beloved is bandhu, or a person or entity who cannot stand separation. According to my spiritual philosophy, Cosmic Consciousness is inextricably involved with everything and cannot stand to be separated from Its creations.

Everyone else will come and go but the Divine Beloved is with me now, forever, and always through every lifetime. In this period of my life where so much is upending, it’s nice to remember I do have a reliable friend I can turn to all the time in all the ways. There is something I can hold onto like an anchor when I feel adrift at sea and that something is the Divine Beloved.

I dream of a world where we remember the only constant in life is change. A world where we stop trying to make impermanent things permanent. A world where we know where to turn when life gets choppy and we need something steady. A world where we recognize there is something we can hold onto and that something is the Divine Beloved.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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