Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Mistakes are Made ... oh yeah
I am just now getting used to seeing my reflection without Jake at my side.
Based on yesterday's thoughts, here's a list of seven virtues according to the cosmology of Reya. (These are behavioral and attitudinal, most effective when applied to the self as well as to others):
What a stainless, smooth, guilt-free life it would be if I could always, in every situation, embody these qualities. I am not always true to my personal ideas of virtue. In some situations, I behave in a distinctly non-virtuous manner, oh yeah. I have a temperament of excess in many ways which rules out the classical virtues. Chastity? Temperance? Whoa ... these are not qualities I can relate to in any way. I set the bar perhaps a bit lower - making respect the bottom line. But I can't even muster respect sometimes.
I try not to berate myself too much when I figure out I've been disrespectful, stingy, greedy or thankless. I believe we humans are built to "make mistakes" as well as to behave beautifully. If we don't trip and fall every now and then, how will we ever learn to stand up again? If we don't suffer some indignities, if we are never wounded, how can we learn to heal?
In fact there are some situations in which transgressions into bad behavior act as a catalyst that breaks up stuckness, that actually helps awaken all the parties involved, which can lead to the more fully lived life. "Mistakes" can be so enlivening. I've seen it happen again and again, as the eventual result of my own mistakes and transgressions.
My list of sins includes qualities that keep me from evolving, also from gathering wisdom (always hard-won if you ask me) from the technicolor experience of being human. Here's my list of sins:
6. Paralysis of Opinion and Behavior
We humans try so hard to be good, to do everything "right" - whatever that means. Our expectations of ourselves are ridiculous. When we fail in our idealistic attempts at perfection, we expend a whole lot of energy punishing ourselves and others. Many times we exhaust ourselves with guilt and blame, for instance, leaving no energy to actually learn anything from our experiences.
The one thing I believe separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom is our tendency to second guess ourselves. In our hearts we are each of us so good, we mean so well. And yeah, we make mistakes. So what? We're not the first people to make mistakes, nor by any means will we be the last. Mea culpa. Onwards & upwards. Shalom.