Sunday, May 10, 2009

Don't do yourself an indignity

10 minute sketch of a co-worker's motorcycle, time siezed during a break at work

My earliest upbringing was in one of those religious traditions that teaches that there are not only sins we commit, but sins we have by failing to do something (fancifully deemed "sins of commission, and sins of omission.")

My best friend in my early high school years was Jewish, and he used to complain about how his mother would pour on the guilt for this or that occasion. I'd hear him through, then ask, "Is that it?! Is that the best she could do? Now I know what they say is true... the Jews may have invented guilt, but the Catholics perfected it." Poor David's guilt trips never held a candle to my mother's blazing fusion-stoked fires.

I've come to think that most of the guilt that was assumed about me was largely from someone else's projection, that is, they assumed I must be guilty of all the things they were guilty of (and then some.) I was not being seen with clarity. I was a child, an innocent child, who had little interest in doing wrong.

The result was a strait jacket, in which one's moral compass is surrounded by interfering magnets, placed there by misguided parents, teachers and priests, and every decision seemed freighted with unknown, and still less understood, moral hazards. My direction became muddy, and my own purpose was unclear. So, I continue to labor to free myself of these lodestones, by understanding best my true role in the world, my true purpose and most worthy efforts. It is still a minefield of uncertainty, because the map was so egregiously smeared. One thing helps: keeping an eye on where I'm supposed to be going.

So, I loved this passage I read last night in Julie Cameron's Vein of Gold:
One of the lies we tell ourselves is that if we do not let ourselves love completely, then we will be less hurt. Loving in a halfhearted manner, pursuing our dreams in a halfhearted manner, we are divided against ourselves. We do ourselves the indignity of not taking ourselves seriously, and we do our creative projects the serious injustice of refusing to visualize them with clarity. Because clarity of vision is a trigger to manifestation, our self-protective desire to hedge our bets can result in our projects not coming to fruition.
I realize I love a few things, still... my wife, my son, and art (Happy Mother's Day, ArtLady; and to my son: you've been a pleasure to raise). And I love that we have (only) a few years to work these things out to the best of our abilities.

Be passionate. You have nothing more to lose, and everything to gain.