“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” -Mahatma Gandhi
I am working to change my belief system. Instead of believing that I must create all the situations and events that will make my new book project successful, I want to believe that I my real work is about being available to the opportunities as they find me. In truth it is probably some of both, but what I really want to give up is the driving anxiety to constantly do more and the ugly shadow that no matter what I do, it is not enough.
I am not alone with this unworthiness problem. I have been in meditation retreats where only a handful of people out of hundreds have felt worthy of love coming towards them. You might almost wonder if our sense of unworthiness is somehow built into the human genome, so pervasive and insistent it is. I have grappled with this beast in different forms and to differing degrees for most of my life, and what I have come to is that just simply noticing it. The goal is to notice the feeling earlier and earlier, because as soon as you take note, it loses its power, or at the very least, you have a choice.
The tragic thing is to leave this ego driven bully free reign. Not noticing the many sneaky tricks this unruly part of ourselves with play on us, just multiplies its power. We all know someone, or many people who are so driven by this internal tyrant that it seems every move they make is being directed by an invisible hand and they are running as fast as they can, over achieving, over talking, over justifying… trying to keep one step ahead of the belligerent voice of diminishing self worth.
I am pretty good now at keeping an eye out for this beast, but some days, like today, I miss the stickiness factor of how little entrails of a past experience keep hanging on. Today, even with meditating twice, I was dogged by this non-descript anxiety of having to perform and prove something about what I am doing here on this planet. Having to prove yourself is a close cousin to not feeling good enough.
At peace within, I am not proving anything. It is sweet here, not only do I not have to prove something, but the lovely synchronicity of life steps forward when we are at peace, providing openings in what looked like walls, but were doors all along. Calm faith in your own process not only fosters the inner peace that is worth more than even the greatest achievement, but it is also the magical place described by W.H Murray as he set our on a Himalaya expedition:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.” I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!’