Where Do You Look for Buried Treasure?

treasureWho doesn’t love a good mystery?

Well, maybe everybody doesn’t always like mysteries, especially those times when you happen to be lost in one yourself. I guess nobody likes the kind of mystery that starts off with lines like these:

  • “Why on earth would you do a thing like that?”
  • “Who stole my blue cashmere sweater?”
  • “What happened to the front of your car?”

But I don’t know anybody who can pass up a mystery story that’s got great stuff in it like hidden passageways, lost diaries, code names, dusty trunks in musty attics, stolen love letters, secret gardens or rusty keys.

Particularly, I don’t know anyone who isn’t interested in buried treasure. Almost everyone can be lured into adventure by the possibility of uncovering emeralds and rubies, diamonds and pearls, gold and silver doubloons.

So, given all this, here’s a curious question: How is it that so many of us wander through life tripping over buried treasure without even noticing that we’ve stubbed a toe?

Maybe We Need to Redefine Treasure

To borrow a manner of speaking from Pogo, “I have seen the buried treasure and it is us.” Since we’re on a roll we might as well redefine mystery, too. “And I have seen the mystery and it, too, is us.”

Being in the mystery and being the mystery at the same time. Being both the question and the answer, the problem and the solution. Being the seeker and that for which we’re looking. This is strange business all right. Or, as Rumi says, “We are the strange business.”

Let’s imagine that each moment of our lives, each story that we tell holds a treasure waiting to be discovered. Don’t you think we’re nuts to miss out on so much just because we’re not paying attention or because we don’t like what’s happening in our moments or our stories? I imagine us refusing emeralds and rubies, rejecting diamonds and pearls, sending back those gold and silver doubloons.

Every Moment Has Its Own Lucid Possibility

Lucid Moments can take many forms. Perhaps something quietly resonates all through you, and you say, simply, “Oh.” Or, out of nowhere some profound dazzling new idea whacks you on the head like a lightening bolt and you say, “Oh!” Or, maybe you run into something you’ve seen a thousand times, and you say, “Oh?”, as in “I never thought of that before.” With any of these “Oh’s” you end up thinking about it for awhile, until a felt sense shifts inside, and then you realize you know something you didn’t know before.

I think most of us don’t want to delve too far into the mystery or dig too deeply for buried treasure for fear of the pain that sometimes comes with the gold. So, each of us has our own Lucid Moments locked up in our untold stories. But they’re worth telling. As Isak Dinesen, who wrote Out of Africa, says: “All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.”

It seems to me that our stories hold untold power either to keep us stuck in old ways of being or set us free for something new. Almost all our stories can be either prison stories or inspirational stories. It all depends on how we tell them.

So I wonder. How open are you to the mystery of your own life? How open are you to uncovering the treasure buried in your own stories?

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