This past weekend, I attended a virtual retreat that, among other things, included lots of what would have looked like from the outside, as not much at all. But a much different story unfolded based on what was happening inside of me. As in, on the first night, in the midst of the stillness and the quiet, an earth shattering proclamation floated itself into my mind saying, “There are no conditions to you being here.”

It made me weep with the pure Truth and resonance of it. And it made me weep with both relief and sadness. Relief, that I do not have to do all of the things I believe I need to do. And sadness because of all of the wasted efforts and false ideas around who and what I think I need to be. It was like passing through a montage of humanity where I was witness to all of the ideas and stories we hold around who we think we need to be. How we think we need to act and speak and present and think and want and laugh and move and, you name it. On and on it went.

I must look a certain way in order to be loved. I must please you in order to exist. I must be somehow important enough, well-off enough, smart enough, thin enough, funny enough, accommodating enough, pretty enough, well-mannered enough, enough, enough, enough of something, just to occupy space here on this earth. It was excruciatingly sad to bear witness to all of the conditions that we impose upon ourselves to feel like we are deserving of love, acceptance, safety, belonging, and approval.

With the most basic and fundamental error of all being, what we feel we must do to even have the right to be here.

Worst of all? We do not even know we are doing this. We do not even know we have based our lives on sets of conditions we feel we need to submit to just to have a right to exist. That is how ingrained it is. How invisible to us it is. How woven in. How accepted. How “normal” it all feels to be constantly driving ourselves and containing ourselves based on this inner set of conditional mandates. Never recognizing the trade-offs we have blindly agreed to.

One of my favorite thought leaders is Dr. Zach Bush. I once heard him describe the experience of bringing patients in the ER back from near death experiences. To a person, the first thing every one of them would ask was “Why did you bring me back?”

The second thing they would talk about was the deep sense of acceptance they had felt wherever it was they had just come from. A level of unconditional acceptance experienced for the very first time in their lives. No conditions whatsoever on who they were, or how they needed to be. No wonder they were not so interested in being back here.

Could we not begin to aim for some semblance of accepting ourselves without condition, without needing to be on the brink of death in order to do so? Or maybe, at least, less conditions than we currently impose? And could we not recognize that as we place less conditions on ourselves, we place less conditions on those around us?

And that the combination of more tolerance, acceptance, ease, and patience with ourselves and with others would actually set the very conditions for everything every one of us is yearning for?

There are conditions that help living things thrive. Find out what those are for you at the deepest and most basic level, and then open to the Truth that there are No Conditions To You. Being. Here. Say it. Say it to yourself each and every time you catch yourself believing you have to be a certain way.

There are no conditions to me being here.