October 16, 2012 by blogmasterjdeam
In meditation this morning, I finally realized why this particular blog has taken so many attempts to write (five!): I was writing to someone else. I received a comment to which I thought I had an answer. I addressed that comment instead of addressing the goal of this blog.
What I realized was, I was skipping over Dharana (for me this translates into self-awareness or figuring out who I am and why I’m doing something) and in doing so, avoiding a big truth about myself. This is the danger in reading my own reviews and taking them personally. When nothing is personal, it applies to the good and the bad. Today’s blog, in its many incarnations, was actually thinly disguised advice, which is why I didn’t feel right about what I had written. It took me awhile to figure out why it didn’t feel right, but I learned faster than I would have before starting this plan.
There is a conundrum here: to be “happy” could be quite simple. Don’t analyze yourself at all — just skip it. Don’t try to understand yourself so you can be a better person, just go do fun things. You’ll be happy — at least temporarily.
To peel the onion, however, can make one quite unhappy. To honestly look at ourselves, our actions, motivations, etcetera, can be uncomfortable. A life examined might just be a difficult life. And there’s no guarantee we’ll be happy at the end. But, I consider I’ll be a better person for the effort.
For many years I had the malady of constantly changing my mind. I used to be one of those people who made quick decisions and stuck with them — for better or for worse. I felt pushed to make a decision, any decision, just make it already.
Then I went through a period where I couldn’t make a decision at all. I had convinced myself I’d made so many bad decisions I couldn’t be trusted to make a good one. So I figured no decision was better than a bad decision. Actually, no decision is a decision.
I didn’t even know how I felt about something until I thought about it for a while, (and I don’t mean minutes, or even hours. I mean days or weeks.) When you put too much of your inner life out into the world and allow other people to tell you how you should feel, what you should do, you don’t develop the ability to know for yourself.
The deal is, I kept looking for “signs” or getting advice from anyone and everyone, instead of growing my own wisdom. Like most maladjusted people, I had figured out how to hide that part of me and put on a good show. But underneath, I knew I was a fraud. I said yes when I meant no. I did things I didn’t want to do, and then felt resentment about it. I pushed my own feelings down and honored someone else’s. I put everyone’s needs before my own, and was damn unhappy about it, but felt powerless to do otherwise — thus the problem with decisions.
I’d like to say this practice of The Eight Limbs of Yoga has totally changed my life, and in many ways it has. But the work in front of me feels never-ending.
As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be you can’t see how it is.
~ Ram Dass
Yours with one wheel in the ditch, Chris