I love this quote:
“The path to our enlightenment is nothing else but the rediscovery
of our Buddha nature that we have forgotten.
When the wind has blown away the clouds from the sky,
you can see the sun again – actually it had never stopped shining.”
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Over the past few weeks I’ve observed myself and noticed how neurotic I can be when I’m sleep deprived, distracted by a romantic interest, or worried about my boys. The fact that I can feel so peaceful and clear one day and so muddled and confused the next is…..very daunting. Years ago I would worry that all the progress along my spiritual path had been lost, that my day of angst demonstrated that I had failed in my quest to be more loving, peaceful and trusting of the Universe.
Now I know better.
Now I understand that I have “cloudy days” and I have clear-sky days, where the progress that I’ve made on my path is evident and readily available to me.
I used to gauge my spiritual progress on how many “good days” I had, days where I felt peaceful and clear and could use the wisdom that I’d acquired to help my clients. But I’ve changed my barometer to reflect the fact that I, like all humans, have an ego. And with an ego comes the ability to feel fearful, and to worry and fret that my needs will not be met. Eventually I will get enough sleep, or sit and meditate to connect to a higher perspective, and then my fears will subside and I will feel calm and clear once again.
Understanding and accepting this ebb and flow – between love and fear – has been a major step towards acceptance of myself and others. No one is perfectly calm in every moment, and when we’re feeling anxious our reactions will be…..less than ideal. Now my goal is not to be clear and calm in every moment, but to recognize when I’m feeling “cloudy” and my ego is influencing my perception and reactions. Once I spot this “ego bias”, I stop taking my anger, worry and frustration too seriously. Instead I take steps to re-connect to a higher way of seeing things.
So my new barometer for assessing my progress on the spiritual path is this: how quickly can I notice when I’m coming from fear instead of love, and what will I do to re-orient myself to a higher perspective?
Under this barometer I do not have to be perfect. I just have to be brave enough to be honest about what I’m feeling, and willing to work to shift my perspective to a higher one.
Which makes me think of another quote that I love:
“The first requirement of any spirituality is fearlessness.
For a coward it is impossible to act virtuously.”
May we all be fearless in our pursuit of love and a loving perspective.
Thanks for the words of wisdom. I have been feeling the same way this week and for the first time was brave enough to admit it.
That’s great! Thanks for sharing that.
Is recognizing the swings from calm to anxious to peace and then yet another swing …..mean that this is progress? ( I think I’m swinging right now….:). )
I define progress as: having the awareness of the swings, and making the decision to be an active participant, stepping in to steer the shift towards a higher perspective.
I was just thinking the same thing today… I had gone from feeling hopeless to hopeful in a matter of moments… What changed my perception?… I had a great, positive conversation with a friend! Afterward, I felt safe and sound! Nothing in particular was said, it was all about the loving way we naturally supported each other. That led me to see how nothing is set in stone, especially, when it comes to our emotions.. That realization is huge! Love you Christine…
What a great comment – thank you Deby!! es, embracing the fluidity of our emotions is key!
I love this post. And I am grateful to understand what you have written from a very deep personal space. I really value walking this journey with you.
Sandy Anderson Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2013 22:12 +0000 To: email@example.com
another great perspective and way to stop beating ourselves up…
Thanks Amy! Thanks for reading and for adding your support –
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