I am no longer trying to fix things. There IS nothing to fix. Letting go of this inclination may not seem like a gargantuan feat – after all, it is infinitely easier to NOT do things than to do them, but trust me, it is. It’s huge. It is the taming of ego. It is releasing temptation. It is saying goodbye to stress. I decided that it was time I became better friends with my inner observer and just go with the flow and notice what is happening without judgment.
I have decided instead to just be curious. What’s God up to? What’s life like when I get go and settle into “nothing to fix”?
Now, anyone can sift through these pages and figure out that this is far from the first time I have made such a decision. I “know” that being curious is a way to detach from whatever is happening and just observe without getting sucked in emotionally, but as a person who has spent way too much of the last month or two feeling stressed to the max, it seems obvious to me that it is time to resurrect the practice and take it even further.
I just read a book called “Fully Engaged” by Thomas M Sterner, and even though it is a tiny little book it was helpful. One of the main points of the book that I really liked was the reminder that “You cannot master difficult situations without practice. You cannot practice mastery without being in the situation. When you know this, difficulty becomes an opportunity to push past your thresholds.” *
An opportunity to push past your thresholds! I like it!!!
That means it’s okay that I feel crappy about my lack of prowess. I am always uncertain until I learn to master a skill. I have to be willing to be in the uncertainty, to embrace my clumsiness if I ever hope to achieve mastery.
Sterner says, “If you want to learn how to play in the rain, it has to be raining. If you want to learn how to play in gusty conditions, the wind has to be gusting, and if you want to learn how to deal with yourself when the wheels have come completely off, you have to be in that situation.”
So, my observer friend and I are just watching the show — steeped in curiosity about what will happen and how God is putting the pieces together.
“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” – Khalil Gibran
It is easier for me when I remember this. It is easier when the Observer and I notice that I am feeling anxious which means I am trying to control what is beyond me to control. Up until now, I have noticed such things and labeled them “fear,” but that is not as helpful as I would prefer. It’s easier somehow to notice that I (ego) am (is) trying to control, which means I am basically attempting to interfere with God’s plan.
I know this is ridiculous. I know I am not more powerful than the All-Mighty and that my feeble attempts to fix things often get in my own way. So, I am learning to think of it as developing mastery within a new skillset. It’s okay that I suck. I’m supposed to suck.
There is a wonderful little passage in the Fully Engaged book where the author is having a discussion with a woman about where she felt she “should” be in terms of her progress.
Looking for a point of relativity, I asked her, “How good should you be, then?” There was silence on the other end of the phone, and eventually she said, “You know, I really don’t know.” Without thinking I asked her, “If you don’t know how good you should be after six months of effort, how do you know you’re not better than you should be?”*
“How do you know you’re not better than you should be?”
I love that! We are lousy judges, or at least I’m a lousy judge. Whenever I am “should-ing” on myself I am being ignorant. I have no idea what the baseline “should” be because I am in unfamiliar territory. I’m just practicing. I’m being curious. I’m noticing what’s happening without being attached to what I think it is supposed to look like.
So my Observer friend and I are just going to watch what’s happening, let go of trying to fix anything and trust that if we are “supposed” to act, we will. I am always being led. Some of the time, when I don’t know what to do it’s because I’m not supposed to do anything. Yet.
“When you’re having trouble making a decision you’re making it too soon.” – Esther Hicks
Nothing to fix. I like it!
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.
*Sterner, Thomas M.. Fully Engaged: Using the Practicing Mind in Daily Life (pp. 49-50). New World Library. Kindle Edition.