Opinion: Wisdom Workout


A Subtle Trap

When personal growth becomes a topic of interest, it is easy to get caught in a subtle and unexpected trap. This dilemma can be pinpointed by these two questions. Is your life an endless problem to be solved or is your life a reality to be experienced?

Your answer holds the key to your perhaps unconscious motivation for putting excessive energy into fixing your life. The primary motivation for beginning a journey of self-discovery is usually the desire to solve a problem. Pain is a great wake-up call.

When we approach life and ourselves as a continuous problem to be solved, we may be misguidedly attempting to reach perfection.

When we are endlessly trying to fix ourselves, the motivation may be more ego-driven than growth oriented. Right, winner, perfect and never again having to pay any upsetting prices while receiving a constant uninterrupted stream of benefits is an unrealistic, though appealing, attempt at achieving ego gratification.

When we approach our lives as a constant fix-it project, there is no room for real growth. True personal growth requires a serious relationship with how life is in the present and a willingness to be flexible and open to new ways of approaching our life situations.

Self-help books are great. Seminars and therapy can be life-changing. Spiritual disciplines can enhance our everyday experience. If we hang on too tightly to these tools, it may be time to take another look at our real intentions.

We can get addicted to stockpiling answers before life has had time to ask us any questions. When this happens, we are at risk of having our life run by fear instead of being guided by a higher vibrational inspiration.

When our ego is running the show, we can easily get caught in a never-ending cycle of berating ourselves one day and over-congratulating ourselves the next.

The pursuit of personal power is a worthy endeavor. The trap is getting addicted to perfection.

Perfect translates into all highs and no lows. Always up and never down. When the inevitable bumps in the road show up, we are ill-equipped to handle them with grace and ease because we have become overly identified with the power side of life.

Surrender becomes impossible. The unknown becomes terrifying. We become rigid rather than flexible in our self-knowledge. We become victims of over-achievement turned inward.

It can be a bit embarrassing to admit that newfound spirituality is simply that same old hungry ego monster clamoring for more, bigger and better territory. Egomania dressed up in a fancy suit.

Here is where the skill of being able to laugh at ourselves comes in handy.

Take a deep breath, shake your head back and forth a few times and then call up a sense of your basic goodness. Your basic core goodness is enough.

Now ask a few simple questions to re-establish a partnership with your inner guidance. “What do I need to be aware of right now? What is the highest and best action I can take in my life right now?”

Listen for your answers.

Imagine a bicycle built for two. Your Higher Power, God, Higher Self, Inspiration, Intuition, whatever name you most resonate with that connects you to your inner knowing and houses your guidance, direction and protection is sitting firmly in the lead seat. Place yourself in the second seat. Suit up. Show up. Lighten up.  All that is left to do is to keep on pedaling and remember to enjoy the ride.

Susan is a local author and teaches personal development workshops locally. Reach her at: susanvelasquez.com

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