Sunday, September 13, 2009

Does acceptance preclude forward movement?

Our task for today in our Miksang Photography class is to shoot textures. My new friend Joyce and I took our cameras with us to dinner last night and did a few advance forays into the texture zone; this was the wall of one of the shops near our restaurant. Cool, eh?

It makes me think of my meditation this morning, which was dominated by waves of thought associated with conversations I've been having, preparation for leaving, dinner plans for this evening... I kept trying to stay focused and centered, but the thought waves just kept streaming in, floating me back up to the surface.

Ah well, some days are just like that. I am learning to be patient with myself, but then (being me) I worry that perhaps I am TOO patient, that by offering acceptance to myself when I'm struggling to stay on task I am being too lenient, and possibly allowing myself to avoid something to which I should really be paying closer, conscious attention.

It's a bit like childrearing, I think -- we used to always debate this very issue: if you praise the child when they're doing well, and make it clear you still love them when they screw up, will they have any incentive to push through, to develop self-discipline? It was my job to answer yes to this question, and my husband's stance was always to make it clear there were higher peaks to strive for; he needed them to have some drive forward, and wasn't sure self-acceptance would accomplish any important goals.

But I'm thinking we aren't very good at tackling the hard stuff if we're wallowing in insecurity; that we can't pour out of an empty cup, and that more energy comes from a healthy awareness of strengths than from a sense that nothing we do is ever quite good enough.

So I guess I'll continue being patient with myself -- after all, it's what I would do for my children, so why not love myself with the same gentle tenderness. I just have to trust that the desire for deepening is enough, and I'll step down into it when I'm ready.


altar ego said...

I'm with you--without confidence the effort to strive for anything is beyond even our dreams. I think it is dreams and goals that help us push past the status quo and "exceed expectations." When there is no expectation it can't possible be exceeded!

(Which brings to mind something totally unrelated: a man whose wife I buried some years ago described her effort to redecorate the house. He told her she had an unlimited budget, and she exceeded it!)


Patience, patience - it takes a lot of it to recognize the talent we harbor is for sharing. Thanks for sharing here!

jwycoff said...

Diane ... how lovely to be mentioned in your blog. I am honored and love being your new friend. And I love seeing pictures that we've both seen.

Hope your trip home was uneventful.