Day 126 – Today’s reading is about powerlessness, the kind that the 12-step process of AA beckons alcoholics to acknowledge, the kind that in yogic terms leads stems from nonjudgment and letting go. As one can imagine, this reading asks many questions of us, since “most of us observer our own transgressions–whether they are in the bedroom or boardroom–as though we know better, could do better, should do better next time.” Rolf adds: “As we observe other individuals, companies, political parties, and nations, we tend to bring the same kinds of judgments to bear, expecting different results.”
I find this reading so appropriate to the way the world feels right now, the experience I am having. As I make a conscious attempt not to pay attention to the news (and yet still be aware), I pass tons of judgment upon myself and others, still expecting different results. Case in point are my parents insistance that the protestors (such as myself) are immature, selfish, disrespectful, prone-to-violence, those who do not understand what free speech is. Not only does this bother me, I find myself arguing with them. Truly, a waste. I still love them, of course, but it is bothers me, and I pass judgment on them when I should not and this is habitual and, ironically, also part of my genetic DNA since we were a family with a constant one-up and know-it-all dinnertable, where it was rife with argument and playing the devil’s advocate.
Rolf writes: “Many of us stay stuck by being angry over our anger, sad over oursadness, lying to ourselves about our dishonesty.” And this is so. I can’t help but wonder “what would it mean to simply acknowledge our behavior without judgment, without denial, without hedging?”
Rolf asks a battery of questions: “Is it possible not to be afraid? Can any of us not know desire?” I don’t know, but I had nightmares about my oldest son last night and I know this stems to the fear I have about going to war and my children being drafted.
Rolf continues: “What would be a reasonable first step in forming a heathy relationship as to something fundamentally out of our control as our deepest desires and aversions?” I have to agree that it is a “fruitless and endless struggle to control the uncontrollable.” With that in mind, and over the course of the past two weeks, I’ve come to grow into the idea that any change comes from inside, the decision to go about what I enjoy and what is good for me, and stay busy with doing good. I will march as it calls me for others. I will speak out to the injustices I see as I see them, but I am open to others’ point of view. I will love furiously but be open and honest to myself about that which I hate. I, like Rolf, wonder: “Could that kind of letting go deliver us to the place where we can begin to work honestly with what is?”