There Are No Good Or Bad Decisions

December 31, 2008

 …Just different outcomes.

Choices and their consequences have been on my mind lately.

I’ve been immobilized by the fear of making the wrong choices most of my life, so I opt–usually, to not take risks. True to the adage, I have ventured little and have gained little. But what have I lost? Faith? Trust? Opportunity?

Perhaps.  But can I change this reptillian-brained need for security and step outside my comfort zone? I’d like to. I keep falling into that self-sabotaging excuse, “Once this and that are in order, I can then take this particular action.” I’ve convinced myself, as so many people have, that unless certain things are in place, certain other things cannot be undertaken.  “I shouldn’t quit my job unless I have another one lined up. Otherwise, I won’t have any money coming in, and the bills won’t get paid, and I’ll lose my car and house, etc.”  Or, “I don’t want to start dating until I’ve lost 15 pounds and have cured my acne, because I’m not lovable just as I am.”

I’ve created a story of consequences, which may or may not happen, and am losing the best years of my life to conditions instead of experiences. If all experiences, illusory as they are, pass through us and from us, then why become attached the outcome, especially before we actually experience the outcome? Instead of dwelling in defeat or gloating in success, we can consider that  each moment, each consequence is a question asking: What will you do now? What will you do with this information? This gift?

We judge results based on how they make us feel, and then either complacency or fear keeps us from flowing into the next lesson, relationship, adventure. We judge ourselves as well, not wanting to be perceived as foolish, moving through life so very measured and calculated for the sake of appearances. What if nobody is watching us? What would I do if I thought no one was keeping score?

My determination for the New Year is this:  I will take more risks and I will make decisions based soley on my wishes.

There are no bad consequences; just new information that I couldn’t have gained without committing to one action or another.

Happy New Year

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Location, Location, Location

December 11, 2008

The idea of going ‘inward’ to find truth, or the concept of an ‘inner’ self or a ‘higher self frustrates me.

I can no more grasp the locus of my  inner self than I can my heart, brain, or lungs. I’m told that  my vital organs are also within me, but I can’ t see or feel them–as long as they’re functioning properly. I see the rise and fall of my chest, but I’m not convinced there are lungs inside of me. I’ve never seen them, but if I were cut open, I can reasonably expect that these organs I’ve heard about would be there–quite pinkly proven.  If I have difficulty imagining my own physicality, then trying to wrap my mind around an intangible part of myself is just impossible.

How high up is my higher self? Step-stool high? Binoculars high? Hubble telescope high?

How do I know I’ve probed far enough toward my inner self? Is it like jabbing a finger inside my ear until I hit a tender spot?

I’m certain that what is meant by ‘higher’ self describes an evolved self rather than a geographically elevated self, but the concept still makes me want to look up. I’m hung up on the actual locus of these ‘selves’ and want so much to find them and integrate them into my experience, but my quest is unresolved and fruitless, and it makes me wonder about ‘where’ any part of my ‘self’ really is.

Maybe there is no locus at all. Maybe, attempting to pinpoint any supposed aspect of myself is like the ocean trying to find the wet spot. There is no inner self or higher self. There is only the self, examined or unexamined, conscious or unconscious.

It’s right here.


Who is “Everybody”? Part II

December 3, 2008

In summary, people who are marketing their spirtual epiphanies, I mean, sharing them, are people who’ve already tasted success. They are people of means. Their spiritual ‘success’ journey doesn’t start at a bottom point and progresses upward, they start at a fairly high level.

Not fair.

I can no longer take these people or their discoveries seriously. I’m waiting for someone to write a book who has been dirt poor and has a high school education–and who isn’t a Baptist minister. Whatever they’ve done to turn their poverty into prosperity is the message for the masses. 

 Educated, degreed, yuppified gurus have  no credibility. How can I relate to teachings espoused by the elite that are obviously meant for their peers? They haven’t figured out anything. Until they can reveal a formula which is applicable to everyone from all backgrounds, they haven’t really discovered anything.

 The rich have always delved and dabbled in esoteric teachings, the occult, new age, and other marginal spiritual practices to alleviate boredom. They’re not really looking for a way to make their lives better. Why would they need to do that? At one time,  long after it was a crime punishable by death, witchcraft was the ‘new age’ practice among the aristocracy. Then it was seances. And then it was TM. And after that came the ashrams, and yoga, and the spiritual sherpas going by the title Rimpoche. You see where I’m going.

I’m looking for something that will not just comfort or palliate, but a teaching that is truly instrumental in shifting hopelessness into happiness. Not just a suggestion of personal power, but a demonstratable, repeatable process for exercising will.

How does an ordinary person with no physical means transform her life? The lost bee finds the flower.  I can’t remember the name of the man who wrote that, but I love that thought.

 I am the lost bee.