Monday, April 28, 2008

Resisting living

Have you ever found yourself turning down an opportunity that you have been preparing for a long time because you were not "ready"? Or suppressed a desire for change out of fear? How can you commit to a different path if you don't even know where the path begins?

Aaah, perfectionism. For me, perfectionism is another name for judgment. The real question is - how can I get anything done when I can't stop judging myself? What if despite my best efforts I am still not (gasp) perfect? Welcome to the human condition, the clearer side of my mind jests. If I believe mistakes are inevitable, where is all this intolerance coming from? What am I resisting?

Maybe the resistance is to accepting things as they are. For example, I could say (to myself) - "I don't want to be inexperienced in something new. I want to feel safe and confident in my decisions, and to be viewed with authority. I don't want to be wrong - or - I don't want to be embarrassed." Whatever happened to compassion (giving myself a break)? How can anyone learn anything without making mistakes? And what is worse - the pain of resisting the inevitable or pushing past the fear of potential ridicule?

Nityananda says: "If you are afraid of water, you cannot cross the river even by boat. If you are afraid of fire, you cannot even cook a meal. For anything to be done, first you must have courage." The thing is, courage is not the absence of fear. It's always scary because life isn't safe or predictable. But when one acts in the face of fear, and pushes a boundary, a shift happens. A self-defeating habit is challenged. Confidence is gained.