In a lyric for his song “Anyone Can Whistle,” Stephen Sondheim writes: “What’s hard is easy; what’s natural seems hard.”
I think many of us can relate to that frustrating paradox. In our earliest years we eagerly tackle difficult challenges. We learn languages and mathematics, no matter how confusing or illogical they may seem at first. We expect life to become increasingly complicated and intricate as we grow older, and we learn new skills, develop new talents, memorize more information, just to keep up. What’s hard is easy. Struggling, working, earning a living — these seem to be natural, even when they lead to tension, stress, disease and a fear of lack.
Somehow, in all the pressure to learn and earn, we lose the memory of ourselves as pure Spirit. And if we are fortunate, and the spiritual path does later reappear for us, it seems incredibly difficult. Why? Because it requires us to let go of everything we think we know about who we are and how life works, and to return to the simple Truth of our pure Self. What’s natural — our true spiritual identity — seems hard. But it is precisely in surrender to the natural, the instinctive within us that we find healing, abundance and perfect love.