In May, 2008, my journey within began, so to speak, when I purchased all of Dan’s books. After reading them, and appreciating the simple truths they contained, I decided to stop reading and searching “out there” so much, and just notice “being” — within and without.
But all the knowledge I’d acquired (or so I thought) was less meaningful to me that the fact that so much negativity lived in my thoughts. I asked myself, “What value is knowledge if I behave unkindly towards myself and others?”
Three years later and still ugliness lives inside and out. I guess it always will, and I am trying to “be here now”, and “accept what is”, but still I am efforting and not relaxing into self-acceptance. It’s like I have an inner toddler who is constantly yelling, “NO”, and having tantrums that sometimes manifest as really crappy behavior. And I’m not so young anymore!
So here’s my question: Is there hope for one so stubborn as me?”
Thank you, Dan, for daring to express your message simply, directly and without fanfare. And thanks for the really good books!
— A discouraged, but still trying, Peaceful Warrior-in-Training
Keep in mind that the idea of “out there” and “within” is a paradox. What we see “out there” may still exist “within” our larger Self. So consider carefully this idea of the “me within.” Where, exactly, is that?
We can find guidance from many sources — by observing the natural world, people around us, from human mentors, from friends and strangers — but of course we always want to check out what we learn against that whispered wisdom of our heart — because there is no best path, book, teacher, or choice — only the best for each of us at a given time of our life.
I do not put slogans or one-liners in my books so people can walk around using them as some sort of affirmation or mantra — rather, I offer reminders, and call on you to trust your own nnate wisdom.
Yes, an “ugliness” or shadow lives in each of us — and some of the kindest and most idealistic of people imagine themselves as the “worst sort of sinners.” There was a best-selling book on transactional analysis written years ago, titled I’m OK, You’re OK — but I much prefer the saying by psychologist Virginia Satir, who wrote, “I’m not okay, you’re not okay… and that’s okay.” 😉
We’re all HITs — Humans-in-Training. So cut yourself a little slack! Be gentle with yourself. Beyond a healthful discipline, show yourself the same compassion and patience you might give to a dear friend.
You ask whether “there is hope” for one so stubborn as you. Of course there is. We’re all in this together, stumbling toward the light. Two steps forward, one step back. That’s how it goes.
It’s okay to feel discouraged; that’s part of the process. You may recall the sage who said, “When running up a hill, it’s okay to quit as many times as you like . . . as long as your feet keep moving.”
From a fellow traveler, wishing you good journeys,