Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are our most potent at our most ordinary. And yet most of us discount our “ordinary” because it is, well, ordinary. Or so we believe. But my ordinary is not yours. Three things block us from putting down our clever and picking up our ordinary: false comparisons with others (I’m not as good a writer as _____), false expectations of ourselves (I should be on the NYTimes best seller list or not write at all), and false investments in a story (it’s all been written before, I shouldn’t bother). What are your false comparisons? What are your false expectations? What are your false investments in a story? List them. Each keep you from that internal knowing about which Emerson writes. Each keeps you from making your strong offer to the world. Put down your clever, and pick up your ordinary.
Susan Piver (Twitter @spiver) asks interesting questions. Good, bad: these things don’t really exist. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a “right” path we should follow. And comparison always leads to suffering.
For most of us, our idea of perfection needs to be rethought. Is perfection really freedom from mistakes? Do you know anyone without a flaw? Perhaps then perfection is an acceptance of our “failed” nature?
The simple fact is that we are all ordinary people. We are also capable of great things. The difference between the ordinariness of our being and the greatness of our action cannot be understated.
(That these things are one and the same is something I intellectually understand but am yet to unlearn … I look forward to the day when I can explain this without dualism. Sigh.)
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