I am loving the challenge/exercise to think of how to use the emotions that keep us in our comfort zone as actual tools to propel us forward:
Feelings of unworthiness
And the one emotion that got me into motion this week was GUILT.
At first I thought “What is the opposite of guilt?”
A clear conscience
What are some feelings of guilt that can hold us back from pursuing our dharma?
Do I feel guilty about the time it will take away from family? (Can’t use that excuse anymore now that my girls are in college!)
Perhaps I feel guilty about what others in my family will think, like I am now too “high and mighty” and too good for the way of life my blue-collar family has had for generations? (Yep, that’s the one!)
Then I thought of that ONE person; that one lady who needs to hear my story and discover that what I have to share can help her too. To show her that she is not alone and she can overcome and have a fulfilling life no matter what she has been through. And if I do NOT actualize my dharma, write that book, develop those courses, then I won’t be able to help that special lady, and who knows how many others. Whether I help just a few, or thousands more, doesn’t matter right now.
Just focus on that ONE, and let the ripples flow from there. I am not going to live with the guilt that my self-consciousness (which is really a form of selfishness if you ask me) could prevent me from changing the lives of others.
Reminds me of that popular Tale of the Starfish, perhaps you heard it?
“A young girl (aka me) was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man (aka guilt, worry of what others will think of you) approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”
The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference for that one!”