A New Starting Point


It’s time to get back to a simple fact that life is more than misery, suffering or something to ‘get through’. For many years this was my starting point for all choices. I didn’t know that it was, as these things don’t change until you change your starting point and can assess the difference.

Having a starting point that is about suffering and getting through life meant that any choice was assessed in terms of its ability to move me away from these feelings.


This meant that things like overwork, over exercise and overeating or drinking made much more sense because it all took me away from that starting point. Searching for rewards, however small, also made sense, as they were a sign of another day survived. In some sense, rewards were like the carrot placed in front of the head of the donkey so it would keep moving forward.


It was too simple for me to consider that a new starting point might be love – and that love is something I already have within me, present and available. All I needed to do was to look beyond the carrot; actually not beyond the carrot, but within myself. When I did this I realised I was the donkey.


The possibility was presented to me that there might be another starting point from which to measure choices, set in train something that is nothing short of a transformational.


Slowly over time I replaced ‘getting through life’ with the hope, then the possibility, then the fleeting experience, then the emerging reality until it finally became a confirmed fact that at my core I am love and the joy that comes with that. More so, people at their core are that same love. Not an excitable love, emotional love, romantic love, impassioned love, needy love, unrequited love or any other misconstrued form of the simple, pure, delicate, playful, divine, ‘tears in the eye from the joy’ kind of love.


When I use this as my starting point my choices feel very different. Any choice will either confirm what I already feel, or take me away from that feeling. Why would I choose anything that made me feel less of that love and joy? The concept of reward doesn’t enter into the equation either, as nothing can replace or be better than what I already feel.


With each choice I rebuilt and continue to rebuild a love that had been untarnished but untouched. With each choice I accept the effort I have expended to cover up a simple fact… I am more, so much more than the suffering I created in my life.

© 2012 - Joel Levin. All rights reserved, may not be reproduced without permission

Privacy Policy