Once we have either determined to find a way to health, well-being, purpose in life, or any kind of spiritual or higher development, we all make the same mistake. We demand that the outcome of our endeavors show up in the time and fashion that we want.
This is rarely, if ever the case. The path is the path and it takes us in places we may or may not like, enjoy or feel vindicated in. How we do this is by using on the path the same techniques that got us where we are.
This where we are is not a bad place, necessarily, but one that no longer gives us what we want in our lives. The turning point has come, and we make a decision to go for it. I am going to lose weight, or meditate, or find the partner of my dreams. I am going to find a fulfilling career or stop drinking. Any of these could be a very good choice, depending on your life’s journey.
But how is it that we get from here to there? One way I can tell you that never works, is to use the same behavior that got you where you are now. A new path requires a new wiring, a different set of eyes, a fresh reaction.
All of this means it is imperative that attention be paid. The questions could be; how do I see myself now, or how do I feel about myself now or what behaviors do I participate in that are not in line with my new desire? This shift in beingness takes time, it takes being mindful, and, more than anything, it asks for acceptance. No behavior can be changed out of fear or judgment. That much I know is true.
Sometimes progress is excruciatingly slow. There is even backsliding; the old way rears its head and demands your full attention. Hopelessness comes in and it feels like all is lost. This is so difficult, I do know so well. And this is the time to bring yourself home to yourself and ask yourself what is it that you are really committed to?
Sometimes we do not want to acknowledge that we actually enjoy our misery. We get off on being the worst one, the loser. Or we feel like we deserve this one dirty little pleasure. Or that we will just never get what we want. It doesn’t make sense that a part of us really does not want to change for the better.
This is the human condition. It just is. We find ways to survive as children, which no longer make sense as an adult. But we continue to do them despite our “best” efforts. It is because this behavior, at one time, served a great purpose. In order to let go we have to go back and see what this purpose was. This can be a painful exploration, but it is vital.
Once the behavior makes sense from that perspective, we no longer hold it against ourselves. Then we can make a different choice. Then the path is not so twisted and full of pitfalls. Then the possibility of making a significant shift, or creating a new life for oneself, becomes a reality.