My Facebook post, a couple days ago: “Sometimes, I just get really tired of trying to be good.” No cute photo. Nothing.
There were so many great responses to this. Encouraging, wise, funny. The one I’ve brought with me into my meditation is, “Better to be awake when good, awake when bad.” When I read that, I realized how much of my life revolves around trying to be a version of myself that I approve of, rather than waking up to how I truly am.
My house is filled with books I haven’t finished, books I haven’t even started, free webinars I missed, stuff I signed up for but never actually opened, or did, or went to. What’s up with that? It’s an addiction to the illusion of my Better Self. Running after that Better Self is exhausting; but I keep thinking I’m almost there, so I can’t quit now. Does any of this resonate with you? Do you feel like you’re always running around, chasing your Better Self? What if we're just dreaming?
Let’s say you had a dream in which you were sick. In the dream, you go to the doctor, but every time you get to the office, some other doctor says, “Hey! Over here. They don't know anything. I've got what you really need.” And so you go over there, but just as you open the door, you hear from behind you, “Psst!” And it’s someone with an even better answer, etc.
Then you wake up. It’s just you in your bed. You’re fine. You’re not sick.
Maybe you write the dream down, maybe you don’t. Maybe you forget all about it. But one thing you don’t do for sure is look around for the best doctor to cure you of that mysterious illness. It doesn't enter your mind, because, um, you’re AWAKE. It was just a dream.
I have a hunch that the search for our Better Self is a dream. All the efforts to shake off our Worse Self is a dream.
There is only this. And this can be really boring, if we want it to satisfy our ego, or to pump up our Better Self. If we leave all that other stuff alone, though, and just get with this, the kingdom of heaven pops up out of nowhere, pulsated within us, and surrounds us.
So try on the mantra: “Just this.” Just this sneaker I’m putting on. Just this cup of coffee. This dog. This sinking feeling. This slider opening to the back yard. This argument. This joy. This moment cutting an apple while my wife sings in the shower. This laptop keyboard under my fingers. This message I’m sending out to you.
"Awake when good," and meeting a difficult moment with calm wisdom. "Awake when bad," feeling a moment of inexplicable fury and wanting to empty the kitchen drawer out onto the floor. No Better Self, no Worse Self. Just this.
Namaste, my friends.