Monday, November 17, 2014

Turning pessimism into practice.

We all have moments of doubts and uncertainty.  It is easy to be pessimistic today with the decline in community and social values, rampant political and religious misconduct, along with our materialistic culture that emphasizes name, fame and fortune.  We could use pessimism to further isolate ourselves, to protect ourselves from vulnerability and to build up higher and higher walls of insulation.

Or we could bring our pessimism into our practice.

"I can't do this."  Why not?  Let's look deeper.  Is it because you might fail or because you literally don't have the skills to do this?  Is it possible but simply requires too much work that you cannot take up right now?  What is it that you are getting stuck on?

"This isn't going to work."  Maybe that is true.  Maybe you are doing something that has never been done before and this might not work.  That would be okay.  Actually, that would be great.  You would be pushing the envelope, testing your limits.  If it has already worked for someone else, but you don't think it is going to work for you, why? 

"I need a break." Okay, rest.  But are you resting so you can stop, so you can turn around and go home?  Are you resting because you are physically tired or is your mind picking limits for you? 

Pessimism really gives us a chance to examine ourselves, to examine our limits and our fear.  It can provide us with insight and understanding, while still entertaining doubt and uncertainty. 

It is okay to have doubt and uncertainty, but use it for examination.  Use it for insight on your path.

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