Some years ago I was sitting with some business colleagues, sharing and supporting each other in our individual challenges. One person asked, what is your goal, what do you want, what is your vision?
As we went around the table, people shared their dreams – a certain number of clients, a level of income, growing the business in a new area, closing off unprofitable ares, the need to overcome arguments with business partners.
My response was, I know that whatever comes for me is right for me. I want more than anything to be able to cope with it, and to handle it well, whether it is success or failure, problems or enablers.
Well! I was castigated for not having goals. I was accused of being “too Hindu” (!!??). I was told that I would not get anywhere without goals. I felt belittled, cast out and rejected by this group of people that I had trusted deeply. It hurt most that that comment came from my dearest friend in the group.
I do have things that I want. I want my business to be successful. My family to be happy. Those around me to feel loved. I want to ease the pain of anyone around me for just a moment, to remind them of their strength, courage and possibilities.
My life journey is clear. I know the endpoint. But I do not want the road from here to there to be smooth all of the time. I want to be tested. I want to fail and do better next time. I want an open heart and love for all. I want to give acceptance. And all of the faffing around the edges, all the cooking and photography, all the work and its stresses, the intellectual thinking and analysis, the number of facebook likes, twitter followers, flickr visits, new dishwashers, music collections, all the worry over such trivial things, that is all it is, just trivial. My life is a journey to realise and manifest this, to focus on the right things, to let go of resistance, judgement, frustration. To shine just a little in someone’s darkness. To lean on my own spine and not depend on others for what is rightly my responsibility. To melt into the unknown.
Pema Chodran says “Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really, we just don’t know.”
And what I know, so deeply, is there is no good or bad, no permanence, no worldy success, achievement or failure. What can feel good might be bad, what feels like a tragedy might be for the best.
All I want is to melt into the not knowing.
I am so grateful to my friends for letting me have it so strongly on that day years ago. It helped me to clarify what my life is about. Love you all.