Spiritual progress is not always linear, and definitely not always forward.
As I said in a previous article, in the interest of full disclosure, what you read in these articles isn’t always what’s happening in real time.
It may look like a steady, measured path to grace and enlightenment. But actually, these are only a few moments of grace I experience as I walk a path that often seems dark and unclear–and not a little scary.
Not because my life is so rotten–it isn’t. I have so much to be grateful for. One old friend said, “Any day you wake up, that’s a good day. Any day you wake up and can actually get out of bed, that’s a great day!”
It’s my brain, my soul, my heart. I do this to myself, by seeing the world through a filter of “lack”, a filter of despair and fear. I behave so badly when I am afraid. I know I’m capable of so much more. But for some reason, I’m wired to believe I have less. That I am less.
I’m just trying to rewire my circuits. Some days with more success, sometimes with less.
I am not always the wise, thoughtful, evolved soul I’d like to be. In fact, sometimes when I wonder what I’d like to be when I grow up, the answer is, “Well….a grown-up.”
I have my moments of wisdom and insight, kindness and clarity. But more often I have my hours…no, days…of self-doubt, self-pity, self-absorption and self-delusion.
There’s a story in my family about one of my grandfathers. He was a difficult man–not violent, just incredibly difficult to live with. Pessimistic. Sad. I think he may have had some kind of manic-depression.
For some reason, he finally visited a psychologist, who found him so charming and upbeat, he declared my grandfather “a delightful gentleman”. He recommended the rest of the family come in for counseling, since they were clearly unable to appreciate my grandfather’s wonderful qualities.
But after a few more visits, the psychologist threw my grandfather out, declaring him impossible to deal with–ornery, opinionated, unrelenting–and told him to never darken the doors of his office again.
Sometimes, I feel like the 21st century version of my grandfather.
My friends think so, too. Years ago, after meeting the man of my dreams, I wistfully said to a friend, “What did I do before I met Jon?” and she answered through gritted teeth, “You slowly drove your best friends crazy….”
I got whiny and weak this week. I gave in to impatience. I gave in to second-guessing myself.
My Bobo brain started down those well-worn paths of chasing money, losing sight of the dream, grabbing at fate instead of letting go, comparing myself to other people, thinking the world owes me something, being afraid, being judgmental.
And I whined about it to a good friend, who gave me a long and passionate (and painfully accurate) smack-down.
For the record, in case there is any doubt in your mind, there’s no doubt in my mind , she wins the more-evolved-soul contest. She spoke the truth, and she held me to my own words of what I say I want to achieve in next stage of my life: Letting go, and being still so that something new can come in.
So what to do?
What there always is to do.
Try to get centered. Again.
Try to let go. Again.
Try not to panic. Ignore that giant unpaid business Visa bill that lurks in the corner!
Remember my blessings (and there are so, so many to remember.) Including friends who keep me honest.
Go back in and try again.
Oh, and remember the next time I need to whine, to go see Carol.