On any journey to a desired destination you have no real choice but to start where you are and trudge your way through traffic, airports, long hauls, etc, until you can finally enjoy being in the place you really wanted to be. The destination is the source of inspiration that makes all this drudgery of travel worth it. I doubt there will ever be technology to beam us places in an instant and in fact I hope there never will be, because we would be missing out on the process. The struggle is character building. We gain both learning and human connections taking ourselves from point A to point B.
One of the biggest issues I tend to see in people is that they’re deeply upset with themselves and/or the external world for where they are currently. This tends to weigh them down so much that it derails them before they can really gain any momentum. For example: The first 2-6 weeks of a fitness program are so critical to generating some momentum and lack of acceptance for where they are starting is a big inhibitor of a successful journey.
We all have experienced the feeling of “beating ourselves up” either for our behavior and choices, or not wanting to be in a position where we are made to look bad. We all have experienced “blaming others” for our situation, which “caused” us to act how we acted. And we also all know that both of these behaviors are simply our own negative, ignorant, ego defensive side of our personalities that comes up when we haven’t accepted and forgiven ourselves for the state we are currently in.
We are shitting on ourselves, which instantly drains our energy and keeps us from doing the things we need to do in the here and now to get to where we want to go. If we are blaming, we are then in turn shitting on others/the world, which creates bad karma and provides a negative false sense of energy that is extremely short lived. When you shit on others or the world, your heart rate lifts and it feels like energy ,but this is the delusion of the dark side, as it is powerful but short lived and addictive. Like a drug you will have to keep going back for more and more to get the same dark energy. Are we starting to see how we NEED to be okay with where we are at to have the right mindset and energy to be able to get where we want to go.
The inability to face ourselves and be compassionately accepting of where we are as a starting point is a struggle against reality. A wish for a better past and it is pointless. But we’ve all done it and are in the same boat. We want to just leapfrog to the body we want, the job we want, the lifestyle we want, the person we want to be, etc., just like we want to be beamed to our vacation destination and back. We don’t want to face who we are right now, because it is so emotionally tied to who we have been in the past. If we could learn and leave the past in the past, the present condition wouldn’t be so wrought with strife and disappointment. We would just start moving in the right direction and soon enough we would be where we want, enjoying successes along the way. Holding onto the past is an animal survival skill. In our society it holds us back much of the time as we live fearfully, doubting ourselves, limiting our capabilities and possibilities. Damn past, always sneaking into the present and screwing up the future. When you find yourself in one of these de-motivating spirals here is what we need to employ to get okay with where you are at and get the train out of the station:
• NBD- Not a Big Deal, and Soften into your Upset
When the upsets and negative inner talk come, don’t shut down to stop it and don’t get carried away in those useless emotions. Soften, soften, soften your judgments of self, which will extend to others as well. This can be employed by some deep breathing, quiet sitting, walking or talking it out with a friend. Nobody is going to make a bigger deal and drama out of the mistakes you make that effect you than you. Your family and friends, who care about you but don’t feel the need to beat you up, should help you to say, “Hey it is what it is, let’s not dwell on it and make a big deal, but focus on what you are doing about it today.” After you soften, keep returning to the positive steps you are taking to move forward and stay on track knowing that once that train is moving it is a lot easier to keep it going.
• Recognize the Past, Learn and Forgive Yourself
Recognition of our past mistakes, a determination to learn from them, and forgiving yourself for not being perfect. You didn’t have the knowledge, experience or inspiration before, but you do now so press on and prove yourself. Forgiveness is really just letting go of the past. Leave it where it belongs so you are not weighed down with baggage and can run for the train or plane before it takes off without you. Forgive the travel metaphors, but they work so well here. The more painful your current state is, the less likely you are to forget the lessons, so there is no need to keep beating yourself up. Let go and move forward with a free, light and energized determination.
• Change is Always Happening, Surf the Waves
In Buddhism the realization that everything is always changing on some level is called impermanence. It is not a religious belief, as Buddist psychology is not in itself a religion, rather it is a reality we can easily observe for ourselves. Often we resist change and detest uncertainty and we would rather take the status quo versus pushing for something better and taking the risk that we might be wrong. This fear of change is not the nature of man, but the nature of a negative outlook. Change can go both ways, either towards healthier ends or towards unhealthy, depending on our choices and actions. If we embrace change and keep a positive mind throughout life’s up and downs, we get two results:
• 1) We get the healthier thing we wanted.
• 2) We get something we didn’t expect or want originally. We can see this as our necessary learning experience on our way to a higher order desire.
Either way the change was used to progress us further. It is when we resist change and find the negatives in it that we lose peace and motivation to keep going.