- Awareness is a must for the next requirement, which is willingness. We must have enough desire to do the work or we will simply default to the path of least of resistance… the way it has always been.
- If changing was easy, more people would be satisfied with their life on all levels. We have discussed that change is difficult because we are hard-wired to trust our thinking… it is all we know! We have learned that this is a problem because we continually need new coping and thriving mechanisms as our lives evolve in a world that changes around us in ways we cannot control.
- When I realize that my freedom is on the other side of this fear of the unknown, I become willing to move through the discomfort of the perpetual flux of each moment. This means I let go of trying to control people places and things to make them fit into my known reality. I avail myself of the presence of mind which adapts to the flow of life that creates the cosmos and everything in it.
- If I don’t do this, the pain of forcing my perspective on everything will likely cultivate the willingness in time. Choosing to move through fear is a far more efficient and pleasant path to happiness than being dragged through the inevitable.
…to be continued.
My awareness of these principles was not enough for me to become entirely willing to change. I wanted to be willing, but I found it so challenging to change. Yesterday, I used the example of yelling at my two-year-old daughter even though I didn’t want to be that type of mom. I had the awakening that my thinking (not my child) was the culprit when she was six years old. I made many attempts to change but found myself going back to her to apologize to her more times than I care to admit. Without going into detail, I will just tell you that it took ten years for me to totally destroy my credibility with her. I knew I had pushed her too far. The thought that I would lose my daughter was my bottom. I was finally in enough pain that I became willing to let go of “my way” altogether. I became a listener and the wind at her back. It took some time to win back her trust, but I let go of my fear about that too! I knew that if I held onto thinking that keeps me in regret (past) or fear (future) I would disconnect myself from the Power that is only available now, the power to trust in goodness and love and walk into my vision for the future.
My niece is an amazing softball player. She was just in Florida with her team in some series that attracts a significant amount NCAA scouts. Apparently, the competition was fierce. A key player on her team was ejected very early in the series. Their star pitcher was taunted by an aggressive player on their opponent’s team. She let emotion get the best of her and retaliated with no regard to consequences. Her thinly veiled rage was detected, which is why she was charged with intentionally hitting a batter. This is grounds for dismissal. After this huge misstep, the team fell apart and they lost in a blow-out.
My son tells me that in soccer, savvy players will scout out the weakest link and make every attempt to break them down emotionally so they will react like a pressure valve and call a foul on themselves. I like that he knows this, which has taught him to understand the impact of giving one’s power away. He has learned to see right through taunting and use it to his advantage channeling that energy and adrenaline to enhance his own performance. Unfortunately, my niece’s teammate did not understand that she was falling for one of the oldest tricks in the book. She stooped even lower than her antagonist. She hurt her chances with the scouts behaving like a loose cannon in a high stakes environment. She also hurt her team by depriving them of an important aspect of their strategy – her.
Coincidently, I am friends with the pitcher’s parents. I promise you, they blamed her dismissal on biased refereeing. They denied that the hit was intentional and decried the refs for not intervening to punish the taunting that led up to it. This is a girl who has won prestige for her community service and respect for activism at church. The parents are anti-bad behavior! It was very clear to me that their love of righteousness only worked one way…. for them. When someone else acts out – they are sinning. When one of theirs acts out, it is because they have been pushed to it by victimization. Then I pointed out their self-deluded sweet-spot to my sister in some good old-fashioned gossipy back-stabbing. This is when my alarms starting blaring!
Here I was, the teacher of the mirror philosophy, pointing out a hypocrite as if the very act of doing so wasn’t utterly hypocritical! I had to stop to accept and forgive my self-delusion so I wouldn’t be swallowed by my shame and begin trying to rationalize or justify my behavior. Rather, I admitted it to my sister and explained all the various ways I have done what she did and how easy it is to fall into her parents’ trap… as I had so clearly just demonstrated. My God, this stuff is insidious Everything I spot – there I am!! This is why I affirm quite often that I intend to see and assume the best in all encounters and situations. As I always say, I am a work in progress that looks like two steps forward and one step back, two steps forward…..