I remember being in a team meeting once with a group of individuals who were all high performers in the fields of human resources and organizational development
(basically, the fields of how to be a better person). We were going around the room, each sharing something that we were grateful for, and each person
had some beautifully inspiring story, or they shared a moment of touching appreciation for someone else on the team.
I was relatively new to the team, and when it got to me, I can’t remember what I said that I was grateful for, but I do remember sharing how I mostly saw life as “the cup half empty” rather than “the
cup half full”. And although I was just stating it as “simply a fact for me” without really too much on it, I remember their initial silent or confused reaction. I didn’t mean it to be that big of a deal, and it didn’t seem to
be that big of a deal to me, but in a room full of high achievers, always overcoming obstacles, always finding the positive, always in the “get’r-done-and-move on-to-the-next” mode, I see now in reflection, that I might as well have announced
that I was a pedophile. LOL!
As a funny side-note, another thought that had occurred to me was that the potential problem was that I was Canadian. In a room full of Amercans, I had the thought that
their American sense of "ra ra ra" probably didn't quite mesh with my Canadian sense of "ha ha ha".
And so I had some sense then, that although I was very much enjoying the work I was doing, that I was clearly in the wrong room… I was not at all speaking their language.
At the time, I thought the reason I was in the wrong room was because of something wrong with me. I thought I should
be less of “me” and more of “them”, because clearly, they were what success was all about. I should be a striver, a motivator, an achiever, an overcomer, a rising star, an emerging leader, a "high-potential", a mover and a shaker. However,
there was something deep in my bones that was also telling me that this thinking was wrong for me in some way… I could feel it, but I couldn’t hear it. My heart was telling me something profound, but my head wasn’t listening at all.
And then I gained insight into the Three Principles… And so what I
didn’t know then, that I know now, is hilariously, that they were all just as messed up as I thought I was. Their proclamations of “YES I CAN” and perceptions of being in control, were often just as unhelpful as my proclamations of “NO
I CAN’T” and perceptions of not being in control because of some inherent brokenness. Their very human and very compelling and mostly invisible-to-them insecure needs, just came out in a different way than mine did.
They were in a continual mode of effortful striving because each time they got to the next
level, although it was rewarding and they were often recognized, it was eventually somehow not enough. And I was in a continual mode of “I’ll never be enough” because I continually dismissed anything that I did that seemed effortless, and
I gave incredible amounts of attention and significance to my apparent inability to be proactive at “overcoming”.
That’s the incredibly compelling nature of the power of thought. Until we somehow discover the fundamental illusory nature of ALL thought, and the deeper spiritual truth that all
of us are always already enough and perfectly fine just as we are, we will keep looking to make change in whatever crazy stories we've made up in our head, and we will never be able to see what has always been right there, right in front of us all along.
Today, I still have lots of thoughts about not being enough, easily dismissing
any of my achievements, and I’m guessing they still have lots of thoughts about needing to be an achiever, giving great significance to what they have already achieved or what they need yet to achieve.
But how nice to know that I (and they) don’t have to pay attention to any of it, and that even in those frequent
moments whenever we do happen to get caught up in our compelling and completely ridiculous made up thinking, we’ll all still be perfectly fine.