Today, a friend sent me a beautiful quote, “life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it is about learning to dance in the rain". I sat with this simple, yet profound wisdom for a while. For me, sitting is different than thinking; it is more like curiosity and waiting. I find that it usually opens into landscapes that I could not reason my way into. I could feel the texture of “learning to dance in the rain”, not the concept, and a deep appreciation for life with all its expressions began to rise.
Then a pivotal question, perhaps for all of us, who are considering change, arrived. This question holds the foundational nature and principle of our spiritual investigations. It examines our motivation for change and the integrity we bring to the change process. Here is the question: What is the actual reason we attempt to change?
So, what happens when we observe that a thought, word, or action no longer represents an accurate picture of who we are? . The awareness that something is no longer congruent with who we are now is an open armed invitation for change. However, what happens if we seek change because we evaluate something as “wrong”? What happens to awareness in the presence of such opinion and judgment? Do we not re-enter the wheel of suffering when we look in the direction of the mind’s preoccupation with endless evaluation?
When I look back at change in my own life, it does not seem to arrive on the battlefield. The instances in which I have labeled myself as “wrong, deficient, incapable, unworthy, or unlovable never became fertile ground for change. It was the moments when the heart opened once more with compassion for creating such pain in my life, that the energy and inspiration for a new direction appeared.
I have concluded that the only reason we can step into change is the heart’s longing to remember who we are. It is the split second reflection of our true face that gives us the courage to reach into our deepest inner resources.
It is here that we recognize our innocent mistake, the belief that an aggressive stance with ourselves has valuable. It furthers the war and establishes us as perpetrators within our own being. If we consider that we are always in the process of creating, anytime our “creation” is labeled “bad”, we become “bad creators”. This experience being a bad creator is so painful, that we prefer to disown our “bad creations” rather than meet the pain directly. This act of disowning our creation traps the energy and arrests any change. It takes tremendous energy to keep the pain of being a bad creator suppressed.
In the greater picture, all that we have labeled as “wrong” will become our stories about victims and villains. I invite you to consider a very subtle trap: Could it simply be that choosing the difficult/bad experience is not the actual mistake, but rather labeling the choice as wrong/bad is. Could we just notice that this creation is no longer congruent with who we are now. Feeling this subtle difference requires impeccable attention.
Could we cultivate a new way of relating to ourselves, not through a punishing hand, but through a gradual change from fighting to feeding?
May we be transformed through the deepest nurture and self-care.