I’ve noticed one of the surefire ways I have of making myself miserable is by bullying myself with the thought that I should be somewhere I’m not. I should feel healthier, have more money, get more likes on Facebook, have more readers on my blog, or more______(fill in the blank).
When I go on this head-trip, I’m basically making spirit and the universe ‘wrong’ for where I am. I’m negating the value of ‘what is’. When I tell myself this story, I’m basically claiming that there is some grand mistake in the design of reality. I’m in opposition to everything.
In my resistance, I bully myself and scoff at God.
In an age where we can compare ourselves to others via the Internet, and deduce reasons why our lives are not as shiny as theirs, it’s especially easy to ‘should’ all over ourselves.
I’m noticing that my resistance, quite cleverly, is sometimes disguises as sincere efforts for self-realization. I’ve been so bombarded with propaganda on ‘living my best life’, ‘making six-figures’, and ‘changing the world’ that I have lots of ammunition for beating the shit out of myself if those things aren’t happening. My mind still likes to taunt me with the notion that I’m not fulfilling my potential, that I have nothing to show for myself, or that I’m clearly not trying hard enough. In this story I am always the ‘doer’ who is not ‘doing enough’.
I like the sound of the ‘live your best life’ propaganda as much as the next person but I’ve noticed that the idea of some imaginary ‘better’ life often actually keeps me from fully living and appreciating the life that I currently have.
The thing is that, with resistance, ‘here’ is always not as good as ‘there’. There is no such thing as ‘arriving’ or ‘enoughness’. When we arrive at the next ‘here’ we just wish we were ‘there’ all over again.
We live in a world that values getting ahead. Getting ahead, whatever that really means, is prized over just being where we are. The ego latches on to that and even gloats when it reaches its self-made checkpoints.
And, what about when you can’t move forward? Or when life has other plans for you? How do we undo our programming to not feel bad about where we are?
When I got sick with Lyme, I was teaching and practicing yoga full-time. I had to rewrite what a ‘yoga practice’ was for me because if I still measured a good practice based on my ability to stand on my head or balance on my forearms I would forever feel like a loser. I didn’t have the energy or the strength to do anything I used to do. Many days, early on in my illness, my practice involved rolling out my mat, lying on top of it, and crying. I learned, strangely, that this type of practice was just as ‘effective’ or just as ‘valid’ as all the impressive poses that I could no longer do. I made peace with rewriting my practice. I haven’t balanced on my forearms since and no longer feel like I’m missing out on anything. I realize that the outer form isn’t actually where the true practice lies.
Similarly, I’m learning that the intangible, the process, the ‘getting nowhere’, is just as valid as the appearance of ‘getting somewhere.’ I’m learning that my experience isn’t suppose to be different than it is and when I can relax into what is here, everything is actually okay—more than okay. There is nowhere to get to.
This getting nowhere of mine…Would it impress you? Probably not. Will you ‘Like’ what I share about it on Facebook? An odd few of you might. Will I make the evening news or win a popularity contest? Nope. Will my ego squirm a bit and try to rope me into striving or grasping for something else? Of course it will.
But somehow, when I can allow for ‘what is’, I am wealthy in my communion with the now. I am in integrity and in the flow of life. I am—the same as anyone else is—and that is enough. I am making a bouquet with the flowers I have.
:: EXPLORE ::
Just for today, imagine that absolutely everything about you and your life has been orchestrated by divine design. Leave nothing out—especially the things about yourself and your life that you’re convinced need fixing or changing—that extra weight, your debt, the conflict with your spouse, an illness—imagine that it’s all a divine set-up, down to the very last detail. I invite you to be curious about ‘what is’ as oppose to trying to figure it out, fight it, or make it change. Is it possible to allow for, and lean into, what shows up? How does this change the quality of the day?
Copyright © 2015 Marie-Ève Bonneau