Monday, April 5, 2010

I Am Not a Prophet, Too!

I just read a book by Mark Hughes, the title of which begins I Am Not a Prophet.... The author’s point is that we don’t need to be anyone special to hear our inner guidance. The answer we seek can only be found within. And here’s the good news–everyone can find it.

Okay, okay, I get that. But maybe if I just read one more book, go to one more presentation, attend one more meditation workshop, listen to one more teacher.... Maybe if I keep looking out there, I will find what I’m looking for in here. So I keep reading about meditation, about listening to my inner guidance, about forgiveness, about compassion, about being here now.

If I could just get to that darned nirvana place, my life would be so much better. I would be calm and joyful all the time. I would be wise. My life would be eternally blissful. I would never, ever be angry or judgmental or unhappy or even cranky. I would be a better person. A much better person.

Pema Chodron says that this way of thinking is a subtle form of aggression. (Sometimes not so subtle, I think.) We blame ourselves or others because of what we perceive as some lack in our own life. If it weren’t for my boss, the government, my childhood, my neighbor, my ex, the terrorists, my faults, the weather, my life would be great. And my personal favorite, “If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent.”

Instead, she says, we don’t need to change anything about ourselves. We can still be our crazy, angry, impatient, insecure, silly selves. We don’t need to trade ourselves in for the new, shinier, upgraded model. Instead, we can make friends with ourselves. We can start where we are. Here. Right now.

We can start by suspending our judgments long enough to get to know who we are. Imagine that you are out on a date with yourself. A first date. What would you ask yourself? How would you answer? Treat yourself with the same curiosity and courtesy you would give your date.

If we befriend ourselves, we might do less searching outside and more finding inside. I was recently feeling a bit unsure about teaching this 10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place program. The critic started whispering. “Who do you think you are to teach anyone about this? What credentials do you have? What makes you think you have anything worthwhile to offer?” I took a deep breath and listened more deeply.

A different voice (much friendlier) encouraged, “Live it. Then teach it.” A gentle reminder to get out of my head, where I spend way (waaaay) too much time. I am not a prophet. No one special. Thank God.

1 comment:

  1. Well, everyone wants to live in a great place which what you said darned nirvana place. People would have a great life without think anything and under pressures. However, I think it is not true for everyone. If we all live in a great place with no angry, no argument, no competition, no fighting, and no other unhappy things, and there has only joyful and happiness, people would never learn specific things such as how to be stronger person, how to seek or desire the things that they always wanted to do. Because they do not know how to be angers, augmenters and competitors. The life would be wonderful just in a short term. You also say that people would be better person if you live in all positive things. I think it is true for same people, but not all people are moral and sufficient like you. Some people would want to get more and more and they would never felt enough about what they owned.


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