Generally speaking, we regard discomfort in any form as bad news. But for practitioners or spiritual warriors — people who have a certain hunger to know what is true — feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in, when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are. Those events and people in our lives who trigger our unresolved issues could be regarded as good news. We don’t have to go hunting for anything. We don’t need to try to create situations in which we reach our limit. They occur all by themselves, with clockwork regularity. Each day, we’re given many opportunities to open up or shut down. The most precious opportunity presents itself when we come to the place where we think we can’t handle whatever is happening. It’s too much. It’s gone too far. We feel bad about ourselves. There’s no way we can manipulate the situation to make ourselves come out looking good. No matter how hard we try, it just won’t work. Basically, life has just nailed us. It’s as if you just looked at yourself in the mirror, and you saw a gorilla. The mirror’s there; it’s showing “you”, and what you see looks bad. You try to angle the mirror so you will look a little better, but no matter what you do, you still look like a gorilla. That’s being nailed by life, the place where you have no choice except to embrace what’s happening or push it away…..pema chodron
every now and again, without warning, i will catch a glimpse of myself and it is like looking into a mirror whose paint backing is peeling off. except that the image i see is not distorted. the one i see most of the time is the distortion. i have a lens that is a kaleidescope which fractures the light with sections of blinds spots and the colored crystals of denial which i use most of the time and convince myself that i am not really that flawed.
but once in a while, the veil gets lifted and i see a bit of the man behind the masks. yesterday was one of those days. i was steeped in my own average-ness and confronted by my under-adequacies. i have been working 60 hours a week or so for the last month and 1/2 and realized that my desire for excessive comfort has begun to drain my reserve and teeter serenity. how palpably humbling and understatedly empowering it is to remember that flaws are inevitable and mis-steps are embedded.
not proud of the monster in me, but i have grown enough to not be naive about him either. the challenge for me these days is to just acknowledge the monster and continue to move forward. the firing pin event of this most recent moment triggered my letting go of a extra work commitment. enveloped in this moment was a warm and fluid center made of up my touching in on an ancient anger which protects an ancient fear. whether it was yin or yang remains to be seen.
“Imperfection is not our personal problem – it is a natural part of existing.” ― Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha
my world is roaring along like the coldwater creek runoff of a mountains spring thaw, moving so quickly with an audible whoosh which goose pimples my skin. my belief is that as my heart opens and passion ignites, my fears unleash with parallel abandon. its dizzying and its daunting and its fine.
the more i learn the more i understand how little i know. the difference is now i try not to cower. the jury’s still out on the efficacy of this modus operandi. hella ride tho.