When you take a step back on your path do you quit the path you are on?
This is the question I am confronted with whenever I seem to make progress in any endeavor and then seem to miss the mark or make a mistake, and the question is a better indicator than the answer itself.
It seems I am setting myself up for failure and disappointment in a sense, and that is the human drama in a nutshell. I am asking a question that I know has no real answer and I usually tend not to quit things once I have start them anyways. But for me there is a great opportunity in this moment that sometimes I overlook. The answer to this question is to come at it from a different angle. There is also a great opportunity in not succeeding in what you think you should be succeeding in, and even though the skills that I learn in this process always seem to not be learned quickly enough I do see progress. And of course if you are familiar with non duality progress always felt like the ultimate sin for me and I had nothing to achieve and nothing in particular to accomplish.
But lately I see that there are goals I want to achieve, one of them being a better partner to my wife and another is improving my skills and clarity as an artist and communicator.
I see sometimes that in order to improve such things one has to just stand openly and honestly in front of the audience or the person you are trying to express something to. It is not about perfecting the sense of myself but finally admitting to myself where I am. I no longer excuse or try to be something perfect or special but just be as I am. That is what I think we love about art or any honest expression it is permission to be with what is as we are.
My wife was frustrated with me last night that my insecurities and jealousy were coming up for me again. It is something I have always struggled with and I have made progress in this endeavor but to be perfectly honest not enough. So I realized something last night as she felt disappointed in the situation. I just told her how I felt and not blaming her for any of it. And I just sat there and told her my truth and just let it hurt. And it hurt her as well causing her to wish it wasn’t so or if there was something she could do about it, but there wasn’t. She has loved me in a way that I didn’t think was possible and knowing that made it more heartbreaking.
I had no reason to doubt her but yet I did. I could blame my upbringing but I knew that that wasn’t going to make the problem any better for I have tried to excuse myself from responsibility many times by blaming my parents for things that were happening to me, and while yes, we were all affected by the many things that happened to us we are now standing alone carrying out these behaviors with no parents next to us and that is essential for me to know when I want to be free of something. No longer blaming but actually seeing that what I learned is not happening now and that is part of the freedom I think many of us seek.
It was so sad and heart breaking to just let the mess of me be in a sense. I felt powerless to something bigger than my will and I just let it in and she saw it. I don’t think it made her feel any better but I just stood there and allowed myself to be seen. Most of the time I do this dance around the matters that cause me to feel unlovable. I make excuses but this time I had no resources of obscurement– no good reasons or excuses just plain old unlovability staring back at me and shining forth in front of both of us.
The same went for my art work recently. I have always been ashamed of it in many ways. I have secretly always felt to not be good enough with the things that I created and lately I have been trying to let them be despite my feelings. I just try to be as I am, no longer trying to readjust even though readjustment is always happening. I realized I was never going to achieve the perfection I thought was necessary even though every time I started something I wanted more and more to improve and get better. And yet progress and improvement is made when I least expect it and surrender to the immense force that is happening through me. I do not even know that it has happened most of the time. When I make things I am in a trance and life takes over and where I am is nowhere to be found other than when I have to collect materials or clean up my studio. All the while something is happening that is not mine to control or to totally understand.
After the trance subsides I come back and see what has taken place and at times minor adjustments are made and then it is time to show it. What is it that is being shown? Is it just a series of symbols that I have re-appropriated? Maybe, but somehow I feel something different and others do too it seems.
So I assume it is for all of us that this is happening, and there is no clear insight into why it happens and why some things communicate stronger than other things. Why some things are considered amazing and others as pedestrian as a leaf on the ground is not clear to me. But yesterday I realized it is a miracle that any of this has happened. I am truly grateful even when I feel to be missing the mark that I am able to give anything at all to this world, or better said IT communicates something and I am witness to it afterwards. Many times I make things and they don’t feel to be mine and that is a very peculiar sensation lately. It doesn’t feel to belong to me. There is feeling of unfamiliarity and foreignness to it all.
I am not claiming something divine or special but the sheer experience of anything at all happening for who and what purpose is baffling. For me right now it is not about “did I get it right?” but just telling the truth about what it is to be human and the forms it takes are not up to me. If it is jealousy, delusion or some sincere expression– it is my truth and even though I may be lost and confused doesn’t make it any less sacred.
For me the ability to no longer hide from myself and be myself as I am feels sacred. Not sacred as in special but totally intimate with what is happening to this life. And I never thought it would be a gift of humility and open heartedness and connection when I confront the truth of my being. And those that do not connect with it or misinterpret my intentions are also showing me that I have to continue to explore parts of myself as I think them to be.
What more can we ask for from this life? It is communicating!
Can we become more perfect? Or can we honor our progression?
Can we develop a dialogue instead of an insistence with the way things appear?
It is clear for me that something is being processed but the enormity of it all can’t be grocked so I just do my part and hope for the best. That is my perfection, to just be as I am as honest as possible. The comparisons will never work but it happens and in the end we are asked to walk through this life as ourselves into the void of being and not knowing, but trusting that the path in front of us is ours to walk on and no one else’s.
The gift of being is delivered for me when I finally stop fighting it but let it disarm me from what I thought it should be.