The situation in life that is the farthest from your concept of what and who you ought to be is the one that confronts you with the patterns of your past and that redirects you to the preferences that will manifest what you desire, preferences that you don’t have yet.
This situation doesn’t have to be a rock bottom of sorts, a huge drama like a colossal failure, the loss of something you hold precious, becoming the victim of violence and similar examples from which recovery tends to be long; it can be a flash of insight that lets you become teachable.
I, for example, have had those insights after meeting people who were kinder than me, more refined, and after meeting people who had success in an area of life where I was only developping skills. I did not need pain to wake up. What I needed were examples of what could be in store for me, if I claimed that for me, too. I recalibrated almost immediately after meeting people who were further up in their journeys.
That may not work for you.
(I can identify with certainty what has fostered my growth. If you conclude that becoming kind and refined is part of my soul’s mission, you are perceptive. But my purpose is not everyone’s purpose. There are a lot of people who leave disgruntled, angry and feel unsexy after meeting better people than themselves. So the people who inspired me to bring forth my best do not affect everyone in the same way. People perk up in very diverse circumstances. People also shut down and go to sleep in very diverse circumstances.
A good number of people felt that I needed a lesson, too, delivered by them personally, or some hardship; it goes without saying that I did not make them my role models. Whenever things took a bad turn for me, I knew that I would not imitate them. I did not want to stall my own progress in order to get some resentful fantasies fulfilled. I trusted that we all get a taste of our own medicine when we are ripe for it, and that I wouldn’t waste my time on anticipating the moment when these characters were going to get a taste of their medicine.)
What is on you to discover is what lets you shift gears – before a massive crisis forces you to. And trust that you can let go of your old patterns and substitute them with a new approach.
However, if you are in a situation that you can not stand but feel the logic of, I have something to say: it is probably the best thing that could happen to you.
I don’t mean to say that the feelings you feel are pleasant or that this is what some cosmic doctor prescribed, so that you can balance a so far undiscovered imbalance within you, but that the time will come when you will be shown that the stop of previous and taken-for-granted activity was a gift to your future.
Almost noone is capable of objective self-perception: the traits that you love about yourself could be what is sabotaging you, and the traits that give you no peace could be the ones that are mobilizing you to leave a few habits or a whole lot (!) of conditioning in the past.
Or you may well love yourself for the right reasons and be at odds with yourself for the right reasons — that is something that this stop from previous and taken-for-granted activity will highlight for you, too.
You become teachable when you lose the conviction that what you already know is everything that you need to know.
This may sound simplistic, like a ridicule of the ol’ ego, and individualistic at the same time, since what you need is not what your neighbour needs.
But you can figure out in what conditions you are the most receptive and most likely to exchange harmful and not-so-great habits and give up insensitivity to new information for a more durable receptivity and self-love.
Exploring your inner landscape with mindfulness will help you see where you are not smooth, skilled or truthful enough.
Perhaps the next generation needs to witness smooth, skilled and truthful people in order to imagine themselves like that, too.
Giving yourself enough attention to reorient and emerge as the improved version of you will be the gift that keeps giving.
If a crisis had to occur for you to become teachable, it is something that you can accept now. The pain that you feel may be intense. Try to understand that it is showing you that your old ways have brought it on and that you have decided to ignore the many hick-ups on the way and that this may be the best time ever to change course. Many biographies have taught us that revelations started to arrive when the mind became still.
5 September 2022
#mindfulness #mindfulliving #meditation