Mind the lesson

Spiritual life is dynamic, and not in any way static. Spiritual life speaks to you through events and challenges and life.

I have been unhappy for a long time. I know exactly how I got to a point where I often thought “I hate my life”. It’s so strange to be in a place where I hate my life, have small options to change it and the thoughts and the corresponding feelings are not because of an underlying depression. No – I hated my life because my needs weren’t met, and every day I do a load of stuff for others and the stuff I do isn’t something I like doing. I was continually asked to do more than what my ability is. For a couple of years I have been scrambling to be able to perform more than my ability is. Let me try to emphasize how difficult it is: you have a limit to what you are able to perform before it seriously affects your life negatively. If you have to over-perform continuously, you get broken down. Damaged, but without any option to scale down. You can be as damaged as you like – you still have to continue working at the same over the top capabilities without any end in sight.

Then it happened – a month or so ago. I was asked to give even more than that. What I was giving wasn’t enough. I had to give even more. That’s when it happened. I broke. Or I surrendered.

The spiritual word is “surrender”. The material word for it is “break”. The only way I was going to be able to give even more than I was doing was if I stopped the mind from getting in the way. I had to stop thinking “I shouldn’t be going through this, he should be doing more, this is unfair” and all the other things the mind comes up with. I also had to stop thinking “I hate my life”. To be able to do more I had to let every thought just slide off my mind without attaching itself and just do what I had to. If something needed to be done, I had to do it and not think somebody else should do it. There is the physical sensation of feeling exhausted, but I couldn’t let the mind attach itself to the thought. There was no room for any negative thoughts and if some surface thought came up, I just let that thought slide away. To be able to do more, to give more – there was no room for the fickleness of the mind.

So a mood came over me that made this transition. For a couple of weeks I had a certain mood and surface thoughts that were of no use to me just slided off. I have for a long time been friends with my mind, it is for the most part calm and silent. But with this change, it became real silent. It was beautiful.

But of course, the mood that made the transition easier lifted after a couple of weeks. The pressure on me to do stuff lifted a little bit. Then the next phase entered. The mood that made it easy to let thoughts of no use for me slide – I had to work more for it. When it happened, I had to notice it and practice the new skill I had acquired. It’s like a muscle that has to be continually used to grow and get good at and situations kept occurring so I could continue practicing.

Then I noticed that to make this a truly spiritual lesson, I had to beware the other side of the knife. I found myself feeling sorry for myself. I could let resentment grow. So I had to let those feelings slide away as well. If I had let those feelings grow I would not have learned my lesson. I would instead have grew some other material weeds that I would had to remove at another point.

Now I don’t hate my life. Now I thank my Gurudeva for giving me this lesson. I thank him for a mind that has gone even more quiet. If my Gurudeva wants to keep me in this life and situation that is fine. I only pray that he will help me to continue growing spiritually in the situation I’m in. To stop growing spiritually would certainly be death. Now I understand.

My life hasn’t changed – I have.

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