This morning as I begin to write, much of my decision is based on something I have just read. “A fish cannot drown in water, a bird does not fall in air. Each creature must live in his own nature.” – Mechthild of Magdeburg
Being a human being is a tricky science. Oftentimes, I’ve thought it would be quite amazing to be a dog or a cat. From the time they are born, they are certain of their roles in the world. They are also given the ability to focus on the moment, being completely present in the here and now. This is probably why they are such loyal and kind friends. They can go confidently into their days knowing that they will make it through and they are just perfect in their four-legged nature.
We human beings on the other hand are so very complex. We are given numerous choices in life and forced to make extremely difficult decisions each and every day. According to poet and author Mark Nepo, our most intense challenges come when we fight against our own unique natures. He shares that his mother wanted for him to be a lawyer, while his father wanted him to be an architect. He writes in The Book of Awakening, “Somehow I knew I needed to be a poet; something in it brought me alive.”
In reading this passage today, I realize that writing is the thing that makes me feel oh so alive. Could it be that this is what I am meant to do for the rest of my days? I may have concluded this long ago, but the responsibility that comes with admitting our purpose on Planet Earth can be a bit overwhelming. Once we admit our truth, steps have to be taken. A great idea only becomes an innovation after the hard work is done, which is why so many projects collect cobwebs in the attic of our self-imposed limitations.
Could it be that the reason for humanity’s confusion is that we simply don’t listen to the voice within and fight our true natures? Could it be that our fear of failure, disappointment, and hard work leads us down the winding path of disease, frustration, and confusion?
I find children utterly amazing. For the most part, they are like cats and dogs. They are in the moment; wide eyed and truly inspired by the world around them. Until we troubled and ultra-confused adults get a hold of them and taint them with our expectations, frustrations, biases, and ugly baggage, children are free to be amazing and true. That is why they make us smile and giggle until tears spring from our eyes.
Is it possible that one of the worst and most destructive lessons growing adults learn is that they must conform to some strange sense of propriety or norm? It is more than possible that because we are taught to limit our dreams…to fear risk…there are far less innovators and a lot more bored and frustrated individuals on the planet.
Is there any area in your life that you need to be more authentic? Are there steps you need to take to embrace what you know you are meant to accomplish in your lifetime?
“When one performs his or her prescribed duty only because it ought to be done…is said to be in the mode of goodness,” says the Gita. “It is better to engage in one’s own occupation (or the thing they are meant to do on the planet), even though one may perform it imperfectly, than to accept another’s occupation and perform it perfectly.”
In other words, be true to who you are and what makes you tick…and then see how it infuses your bones with life!
Wishing you a beautiful Friday!