Do you want to prove yourself “right,”
Do you want to connect with your opponent and find common ground and win?
Do you want to perpetuate and maintain your point of view, or do you want to solve a problem?
–The Four Insights by Alberto Villoldo
An aged Chinese monk, despairing at never having reached enlightenment, asks permission to go to an isolated cave to make one final attempt at realization. Taking his robes, his begging bowl, and a few possessions, he heads out on foot into the mountains.
Accept that you are confused. Accept the uncertainty, embrace the mystery, and love the part of you that doesn’t understand.
If we come to a place where we find peace in not knowing why something has happened, yet we know that it inevitably is making us stronger, happier, clearer or raising us to new levels of understanding, we are able to navigate through situations with a much happier outlook.
Logos refers to our ordinary way of seeing the world with deductive, logical thinking that helps us balance our checkbook, make decisions, and plan for the future. But as scholar Karen Armstrong describes, the ancients saw that logos cannot “assuage human grief or find ultimate meaning in life’s struggle. For that people turned to mythos, stories that made no pretensions to historical accuracy but should rather be seen as an early form of psychology.”
Please don’t be fooled by me. Don’t be fooled by the face I wear, for I wear a mask. I wear a thousand masks, masks that I’m afraid to take off and none of them are me. Pretending is an art that is second nature to me, but don’t be fooled, for God’s sake don’t be fooled.
I give you the impression I’m secure and that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without, that confidence is my name, coolness my game, that water is calm and I’m in command and that I need no one, but don’t believe me, please don’t believe me.
My surface may be smooth, but my surface is a mask–my every varying and ever concealing mask. Beneath it dwells the real confusion, fear and aloneness. Beneath lies my smugness, my complacency but I hide this–I don’t want anyone to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear being exposed. That’s why I frantically created a mask to hide behind– nonchalant sophisticated facades to help me pretend– to shield me from the glance that knows– but such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only salvation and I know it. That is if it’s followed by acceptance. If it’s followed by love, it’s the only thing that can liberate me from myself, from my own self built prison walls and from the barriers that I so painstakingly erect. It’s the only thing that will assure me of what I cannot assure myself, that I’m really worth while, but I don’t tell you this, I don’t dare–I’m afraid to.
I’m afraid that your glance will not be followed by acceptance and love. I’m afraid you’ll think less of me and you’ll laugh and your laugh will kill me. I’m afraid that deep down, I’m nothing and that I’m just no good and that you’ll see this and reject me. Continue reading
“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written, or you didn’t go swimming in those warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”
Something strange happens to us as we grow out of childhood into adolescence and then adulthood. The child that once had not a care in the world, that could get over anything at the drop of a hat, that could let go, move on and overcome anything with a resilience that is rarely found in any adult becomes strikingly different as time passes. Continue reading