How to Stop Struggling with Yourself

stop_strugglingConsider this possibility: What if you woke up one morning, and your left elbow let you know that it was leaving, that it was tired of doing the elbow thing, that it wanted to visit Dubuque or Lima, Peru?

What kind of day do you think you’d have?

Oh, sure, Elbow would be convincing. She would tell you about her grievance with Wrist and how wronged she’d been by that last set of tennis you played yesterday. She’d try to prove her case and, of course, you’d have to prove yours.

You’d probably want to let Elbow know how essential she is right where she is, doing exactly what she was designed to do. You’d probably tell her how much you appreciate the job she’s doing holding that left arm together and being a major player in Hand’s job of feeding you.

Or maybe you’d lead your argument with a couple of oneness metaphors. You might say to Elbow, “Look at the oceans. Do waves argue against the tides?” Or, “Consider the trees. Do plum blossoms refuse to fall and then stick around to duke it out with the fruit?”

Pretty absurd, isn’t it, to imagine an elbow with a mind of its own. But I wonder. Isn’t it even more absurd to imagine, just because we do have minds of our own and can argue for control, that we’re less subject to some whole than elbows and plum blossoms?

When Reality Bites, Do You Bite Back?

Of course you do. We all do. Never mind that Reality doesn’t care, and Reality doesn’t need to rush out for a rabies shot. It’s we who do. No matter who we think is doing the biting, we’re the ones hurting ourselves.

Going against Reality is like being in a power struggle with gravity, with one major difference. Somehow we seem to think we can beat Reality. Is that strange, or what? Makes me think of this from Rumi:

“You sit there for days saying, This is strange business. You’re the strange business. You have the energy of the sun in you, but you keep knotting it up at the base of your spine. You’re some weird kind of gold that wants to stay melted in the furnace, so you won’t have to become coins.”

Here’s How Reality Works

Reality’s Bite is the all-time blue-ribbon winner of life’s open secrets. Which means that getting the truth of Reality’s Bite is the most lucid of Lucid Moments. So here it is:

  • What Is is.
  • If we don’t like the What Is, we can reject it, struggle with it, fight it, push it, pull it, bite it, kick it, ignore it, hate it, blame it, try to kill it, fob it off onto someone else, or otherwise attempt to get rid of it.
  • And the What Is still is.

Reality asks us to see what’s true and to take right action. Sometimes right action is no action. But most of the time we do a lot of shadow boxing rather than deal with the What Is because our individual perceptions distort Reality. What we actually experience, then, is our own separate reality with a little “r.”

Reflections on an Eye That Can’t See Itself

Hyemeyohsts Storm says the Old Teachers tell us that “the Universe is the Mirror of the People, and each person is a Mirror to every other person.” Nobody expresses this shamanic view better than Storm does in this passage from Seven Arrows, now a classic:

“Any idea, person or object can be a Medicine Wheel, a Mirror, for man. The tiniest flower can be such a Mirror, as can a wolf, a story, a touch, a religion or a mountain top. For example, one person alone on a mountain top at night might feel fear. Another might feel calm and peaceful. Still another might feel lonely, and a fourth person might feel nothing at all. In each case the mountain top would be the same, but it would be perceived differently as it reflected the feelings of the different people who experienced it.”

So, what do you struggle with? How does it seem Reality is biting you today? If you were to look at the situation as though it were a mirror what would you see? Let me know what you think.

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