So, I offer a perpetual practice of questioning. And I think it is certainly a practice because otherwise we tend to coast on auto-pilot (conditioning, convenient generalizations or limiting assumptions) and we can go to ‘sleep’ and take for granted the incredible possibilities for being kind and compassionate unconditionally. If we can ‘wake ourselves up’ by questioning our conditioned ways of thinking, feeling, stories, judgement…..we can then perpetuate a way of being in the world that is less about judgements to create systems of who is greater than or lesser than (fear) and more about seeing everyone’s inherent ‘brilliance’ (love).
Sometimes we get so concerned with evaluating/judging other people’s choices and lives instead of simply being accepting and kind. Why not try something different? Your opinions are always close by…..it is not about giving up your personality and opinions. It is about actively choosing to expand your capabilities. We are all extremely well versed in judgment/criticism and being attached to our opinions as ‘right’. But when do those opinions and the qualities of them impose upon others? When are you attached to them and they become more than opinion…they are ‘truth’? When do the words you choose to communicate these opinions create limitations or actually, even quite subtly, a dynamic of ‘greater/lesser than’? (And sometimes these subtle threads can be more insidious because we can then deny even to ourselves that we might be engaging in this system or the impact of it.) Why not include the other end of the spectrum too? Why not have the power to choose in each moment how you want to feel, speak and act?
Here is the kicker……..how often have you heard or read something similar to the above? Ideas about being more ‘kind’ or ‘loving’ in your life.
I meet so many people in my travels and teachings who say they ‘know’ it’s true and they are trying to be ‘better’. So many people who feel warm and fuzzy when they read quotes or books that speak to this fundamental. All these people ‘trying’ to be ‘better’ people, better meditators, better Yoga students……better better better.
I support people wanting to grow in ways they can recognize, but when do we realize that it takes more than just praising it with words? I hear people say they are ‘trying’ and then turn around and use language that completely cuts themselves or someone else down. They make a comment that actively engages criticism for the sake of criticism. (or auto pilot behavior)
It is one thing to recognize a desire for change…the next step is an active choice to shift behavior. It takes a practice of unwinding all the conditioning and this means it might feel uncomfortable for a little bit as you shift habits. But one thing I know, you need to make effort through action….it doesn’t simply come from recognizing the desire.
And, what if you are already ‘better’ and that which you seek outside of yourself is actually within you? What if it is a matter of recognizing you are already a great student and brilliant human being etc etc and you simply need to give yourself permission to live from that reality?
What if we actually paused to ask ourselves what all these ideas and phrases mean to us as opposed to keeping them on the surface? (I suppose in some ways we begin to tune it out.) When we don’t actually allow ourselves to sit with what these words and concepts mean to us (for example…what does ‘better’ mean to you)…….how are they actually serving us?