You aren’t going to like this, but. In every situation there is what is right for us and what is wrong for us. Our place is to intuit and live toward what is right for us. Of course, there is a catch. What is right for us may be wrong for someone else. Your good may be my bad. My good may be your bad. It gets worse. What is right for us may also be wrong for US! Chocolate, for instance, may be right for us and wrong for us. So, what’s right for us? It gets even worse. Doing what is right for us may require us to do what is wrong for us. Changing the baby’s diaper, for instance. And, here is the worst part: What is right for us has no necessary connection with what we want for us. We can want what is wrong for us. We block our own path, wanting. I knew you weren’t going to like it.
It’s too complicated. You wanted something easy, something light, like a Jazz brunch on a Sunday morning. Five minutes to a trouble-free life, that would do it. Everybody else gives out instructions for five minutes to a trouble-free life. What’s up with me? I know, I know. I don’t know. But. Here’s what I do know: When we fail to do what is right for us, our psyche suffers. Our soul shakes its head and sighs deeply. Our lives become more of a wasteland. Of course, there is a price to pay for doing what is right. Doing what is right for us asks hard things of us. The Spiritual Journey is no stroll through the park. Walking that path is the Hero’s Journey. To not walk it is a failure of nerve and to die well before we are dead.
All of our symptoms, physical (headaches, muscle aches, stomach aches) and emotional (fear, anxiety, depression, etc.), are invitations to take up the path, to begin the Hero’s Journey, to get to the heart of the matter, to square up to who we are and what is being asked of us, to face up to the conflicts within and without and do what must be done.
No wonder, wouldn't you say, that we do everything we can think of to keep from getting to the heart of the matter? Seeing is doing. Or not. If we see and do not do, woe be unto us! It is better to not know the time of our visitation than to know it and do nothing about it. Once we know what needs to be done and fail to do it, we have to live with having failed to do the thing that had to be done. Let’s not know. “Leave the way, turn aside from the path, speak no more of (the things that must be done)!”
Instead of doing what must be done, let’s surround ourselves with a culture of distraction, diversion, denial and treat our symptoms and never get to the heart of any matter. Somebody pass the sex! Somebody pass the money! Somebody pass the drugs and alcohol! There is nothing like sex, money, drugs and alcohol for saving us from getting to the heart of the matter. But. The heart of the matter doesn’t go away.
It isn't going to get any easier than it is right now. Whenever you start, you're just going to start somewhere. Why not here, now? On the path to the heart of things? You start by paying attention to your sense of things, to your sense of what is right for you and what is wrong. Live toward what is right for you, away from what is wrong for you. Live toward what is right for you with grace and compassion, courage and resolve, refusing to let fear and lethargy keep you from that work.
Fear says, "There be dragons!" And keeps you from living toward what is right for you by listing the bad things that will happen if you do. Or, it says, “What do you mean, thinking of yourself when there are so many with so much need! Serve others! Serve others! Serve others! Or, you know, else!” Lethargy says, "What's the use?" And lists all the reasons nothing you do will ever do any good and why nothing will change about your life. Well. You owe it to yourself to find out about the dragons and the uselessness of doing anything. Don’t die not knowing.
Live toward what is right for you, and see what happens. Don't think you know what should happen. You are exploring your own life here. You are seeing what can happen. You aren't following some blueprint to success and eternal happiness—there is none! You are living toward what is right for you, seeing where that leads you.
Don't give up just because it's hard and nothing seems to be working and you aren't getting anywhere, and there is no cooperation. It's a test of your resolve. The Universe doesn't come to the aid of those who don't mean it. Who want it to be easy. Who just want to want something and have it delivered. The magic is in the work, in the doing, in the practice. “The more I practice, the luckier I get,” said Lee Trevino. And Arnold Palmer. And Gary Player. And Tom Watson. And Samuel Goldwyn… If you want magic to happen, do the work. Consistently, reliably, dependably. Live toward what is right for you, with grace and compassion.
Of course, we don’t know what is right for us. We only know what we think is right for us. Live toward that. Toward your best guess. Find out. Instinct and intuition, kid. Instinct and intuition. We aren't here to give up. We are here to get it down. Sensing what is right for us. Knowing what is right for us. Being right about what is right for us. And doing it.
Oh, wait. I know. It's too late, isn't it? No use to try now. You missed your chance to have a life, way back when. Now, there is no point. Lethargy speaking. Tell it to step aside. You aren’t here for fame fortune and glory unbounded. To hit the big time and have it made. You are here to find your life and live it. To do what is right for you. Period. You live toward meaning when you live toward what is right for you. You live toward life when you live toward what is right for you. You are here to find what is meaningful and do it. What good is meaningless fame, fortune and unbounded glory? Go for the meaning. Every time.
Whatever our experience is, we have to experience it, explore it, express it, and live toward what is right for us within it. Instinct and intuition, imagination and creativity, are our primary tools in aligning ourselves with what is right for us and doing it. They work anywhere. Any time.
In doing what is right for us, we have to accommodate ourselves to the circumstances of our lives. We live where we are, when we are, how we are, and do there what is right for us. And what is right for us doesn’t have anything to do with what we want. We can always want what we cannot have. The fundamental conflict is a conflict of interests. We can want what we have no business having. Go talk to us about that. Make us happy. Doing what is right for us may not make us happy. To do what is right for us and to do what must be done, what needs to be done, is the same thing, and it may not be what we want.
We take it all into consideration and act. In doing what is right for us over and against what we want for us comes forth the saying: “Thy will, not mine, be done!” Our practice is doing what is right for us even when it is wrong for us.
To get beyond what we want to what is right for us requires focus, concentration, awareness and practice, practice, practice. There is no standard for optimal living, no blueprint, no black footprints. There is you living toward what is right for you in your life in relationship with us, and all the others. We live toward what is right for us in relationship with those who are living toward what is right for them, and we work it out all the way. We have to be a self in relation to other selves. Gets tricky. Negotiation and compromise, kid. Negotiation and compromise.
Then there is the fact that what's right for us may also be wrong for us. What's wrong for us may also be right for us. Life is funny that way. Pays to withhold judgment and to not give up just because it isn’t what you think it should be. There is no blueprint, are no black footprints. There is only listening deeply and living toward what your best sense of what is right for you here, now, all things considered.
This is not easy, living toward what is right for us, within the context and circumstances of our lives, in relationship with each other, but that’s the task. It is not for the "carefully kept," or the faint of heart. Imagination and creativity, kid. Imagination and creativity. Courage and resolve, kid. Courage and resolve.