Why The Pressure?
“We are not punished for our sins, but by them. Sin is its own punishment, and righteousness is its own reward!”
Ernest Holmes (The Science of Mind)
Since childhood I have had this sneaking suspicion that I am doing life wrong; that I need to work harder. This contradicts a mantra I have been using these last couple of years, that goes like this:
“I make a pact with the One Infinite Energy for ease in my life. There is nothing I need to do to make my life easier. I allow the easy flow of Spirit to handle all the details, as I enjoy the ride.”
This Christmas I bought myself a really big TV and started to knit a sweater, to while my time away through these dark Winter days. All my close friends and family think I have lost a screw in my head because, to them, this behaviour is way out of character. I did used to knit a lot in my early 20s, though. My husband from that era was a Flintstones and soap opera fan who had a TV in every room (including a mini in his tractor, and one in the ‘shop’). So, to me, knitting and TV seem to go hand in hand. Or… I could knit and listen to a book, listen to a book and walk/run, knit and watch a movie, make a sweater for my husband, make a sweater for me, connect through knitting with my daughter-in-law, use a big screen TV instead of more computer screen time, and I have the money, so.… Enough validation, I wanted a TV, so I bought a TV.
Lately, however, as the darkness has settled in, I have this uneasy feeling that I ‘should’ be working harder. My life is so easy and balanced. I am content and grateful yet, somehow, I feel like I am making a mistake and that I am going to get ‘caught’, accused, and sentenced for being led astray, or for ‘doing life wrong’.
“For all my uneasiness give to me great confidence and assuredness.” “Steadfastly facing Thee, there is no uneasy Universe. The Grand Life pushes Its creative desire in and through all life, in infinite ways.”
IT is pushing! I’m NOT pushing! Am I pushing hard enough? I am not allowing Its push happen through me, because I am just sitting, knitting and WATCHING TV! BLAAA… (Oh, the circular thought patterns I use for self-abuse). NO! I will not succumb to the abuse of my habitual nature!
“There is greater good for me and I ought to have it.”
Let’s scoot up to the opening inspirational quote. What does it actually mean? The word “sin” is an archery term, meaning that one has simply missed the mark. The ‘punishment’ of missing the mark is that we haven’t hit our desired goal yet. That is all. Life is a process, and we are all on our way to greater living. The life I live today IS better than the life I was living 10 years ago.
And what does “righteousness” mean? I understand it to translate to ‘right living’, but not from the perspective of ‘right and wrong’. Rather… I see it more as being used in the context of, “I got it ‘right’… I hit my target”. This is the dream I have aspired to live. This is my answered prayer.
Yet, all too often, we may forget to take notice of where we are getting life right… how our journey has taken a turn for the better as a result of us following our desires for positive change. The thing is, the more we focus on the desired path unfolding before us, and we give due gratitude for its revelation, the more Good we create along the way. Why should I feel validated only if I am in active “doing and accomplishing” mode, when life is meant to be easier for me, according to my desire? Why would I then make ease wrong?
My own self-abuse is exhausting, and I am darn curious about a life where I just let myself live. I know what life feels and looks like when I carry the weight of unnecessary responsibility, listen to the inner abusive critic, and force myself to do things in ways I don’t even want to do or to be associated with. I am tired of holding back, slowing down, doing heavy lifting, and still feeling like it isn’t enough. (Have a watch of this video of “Surface Pressure” from the movie, Encanto: https://youtu.be/tQwVKr8rCYw to get some idea of what I am talking about). What will 2023 look like if I just let myself live?
“For all my self-hatred and self- deprecation, give to me self-love, patience and self-acceptance.”
Yes, I am determined to do life differently. I want to celebrate me… all of me! I want to climb to the top of a mountain and cheer. I want to dance and sing, and play and laugh… to flop down in exhaustion after a great, long hike… and yes… I want to sit on the couch, knit, and watch my big, new TV.
How about you?
~ Notice any areas of your life where you may be beating yourself up for “missing the mark”. ~ Invite yourself to create an affirmation that will remind you to stay on a path that feels more supportive and “right” for you. Repeat it to yourself often. ~ Notice where you ARE hitting your marks, and where Life is offering you ease in accordance with what you have said you desire. ~ Celebrate and offer gratitude for that. Do this practice often as well… really allowing yourself to feel your wins at a deep level, so that you will remember them more fully.
~ If you’d like to learn some more tools for self acceptance and gratitude, we have classes and events we encourage you to check out: Follow this link for more info