It's quite a thing to believe in something... ancient egyptians believed their god Ra, rode his chariot across the sky on a daily journey lighting the earth below... Not exactly the way we know it to be today but a cool way of looking at something we take forgranted... in ancient China, say 500bce, Taoist believed that women posessed an endless amount of "Yen" while men had only a finite amount of "Yang" which is the essence of life. It was believed that men should never give up "yang" without first obtaining plenty of "Yen", this basically meant that Chinese men spent lots of time making sure they had very happy women , uh, on their hands ( wink wink). Failure to satisfy their women (multiple times) would lead to a loss of Yang and certain death, but I'm pretty sure they make pills for that now.
We all have beliefs, and we all have a strong tendency to stick with them. The toughest and most persistent beliefs are the ones we have about our selves. We all live lives that are touched by others, and in many cases we judge the people around us by our own personal beliefs. As the "Black Sheep" I've been the subject of frequent judgements, both in my family life and within our industry. I've witnessed some pretty jaw dropping judgements and many of them were from people that had no right or reason to make them in the first place. However, having heard them, the logical thing to do is question them. I've been on a spiritual ride in the past several years,(let's say decades) many of the things I believed about myself, I found weren't as I thought they were. It's a very hard thing to do to look into yourself and take a real measurement of your own character. It's so much easier to look to the external and blame the situation around you, the people influencing you or some other force for your actions and feelings, but truth is, the fault is primarily from within. This isn't to say that outside factors can't shape who you are because they do, but in the end, if your will be strong enough, who you are is very much in your own hands. It's a concious decision and it can't be made without a real accounting of the facts. I've always believed in doing the right thing, yet I've found myself in the past to be living an angry, bitter life. I've always considered myself to be open minded and non-judgemental, yet at times I was happy to blame others for my plight, and refused to even consider my own part in it. No matter how able I seemed to be and how capable I was percieved, always there seemed to be self doubt. It's an awakening of sorts to realize the power you have over your state of mind.
The other day I watched a show on Travel channel, where 3 American base jumpers traveled to China to jump into a huge sinkhole/cave. The most interesting part was the shear fear on the face of the guy who seemed throughout the show to be the bravest of the group. As he dangled from a wire high above the jagged rocks below, shaking with fear, I wondered if he could make the jump.
shortly after, he threw his legs up over the wire, unhitched the safety clasp holding him securely to the cable, and he was off. The camera mounted on his wrist, which previously showed the look of doubt and fear, now only showed joy. Tears filled my eyes as my daughters and I watched on as he landed safely. All I could think about was all the times in my own life that I had been affraid, and all the times to come in my own and my young girls lives when we would face fear. I realized that though I often believe myself strong and even fearless, I too often shy from the things I'm fearful of. The decisions and actions that should be taken, but aren't because an easier option was available. The conflicts and even the people I avoid because it's easier to turn away. The joy of a life lived knowing I conquered my fears, and faced them head on with courage lessened because I took the safe route and let fear determine the direction. I was proud to hear a simple "wow" come from my oldest daughter, as the jumper described his definition of courage and I hoped it would go to heart. "I have all the same emotions anyone does standing on the edge of a cliff or dangling from a wire high above what could be my death... I want to run away, I want to turn back... The difference is I choose to jump." maybe by being the most affraid he had proved to be the bravest?
And so, I find myself daily standing on the edge of my own version of some remote cliff, or dangling from a thin wire stretched above an incredible void. I want to turn back. I want to run away and do the thing that is easiest. I only hope I have it in me to make the leap. I am willing to believe I do. Courage is the resistence to fear, not the lack of...
Will you jump with me?
Peace N Love