I personally don’t have as much time to process vasanas these days as I did a few years ago.
I have to make room for speedier measures.
And so today I just dug in and asked myself: What is the chief mischief maker?
Never mind beating around the bush. Let’s get to the heart of the matter.
The answer I got back was: A fear of being wrong.
You have to understand that, in my family, being wrong = being bad. In the places my relatives came from, being wrong could cost you your life.
My Dad’s family grew up in a Russian stetl (village) near Kiev during a time of pogroms (racist attacks on Jews).
My Mother’s family came from Hamburg and had much the same story. So the fear was there, on both sides, of a replay of Europe. They imported their fears.
Being wrong could cost you your life. If you were wrong, it was not a good sign. You didn’t have a future of any sort. You were a liability to have around.
That preconditioned people to take commands. Then you were protected because you were simply following orders.
I still feel a range of emotions from alarm to depression if I think I made a mistake. I learned to mask it over the years.
A fear of screwing up, of being singled out, of having to choose between honor and life.
If we want to speed things up and just deal with the chief mischief maker, it’d be this fear.
There’s a rational part to the recovery process, not just an emotional part. I’d like to walk through that first because in my future I’ll have less and less time for emotional processing. It’ll be showtime!
Cutting to the chase:
Does it really matter very much to you at your age to be wrong or make a mistake?
No, it doesn’t. Undoubtedly I make many, but I know I’m serving the Mother even if it looks like I’m bumbling along. And the Mother would never judge or refuse my efforts.
What rides on it?
Very little I can think of. I feel no pulls on me so I’d say nothing very significant.
My Adult intervenes, taking the driver’s seat:
I’ve learned three things about what to do when I make a mistake. Wanna hear them?
One is to own it. We need to take responsibility for our mistakes.
Two is to fix it. We need to clean up the mess we made and make amends for any injuries.
And three is to keep going, and going, and going, rather than getting depressed after our first mistake and collapsing in a heap.
Churchill pointed out that Britain’s secret was that it didn’t give up after being defeated, again and again. What really mattered was who was left standing at the end of the fray. He was determined it would be Britain.
The moral: Keep returning to the effort, Little Steve.
I don’t think anyone is much interested in another’s mistakes any more. Only the outcome is critical.
I think that compassion in us grows and grows as the energies rise.
Being bad and wrong is not the way of the future. There’s no one voting for me feeling depressed and dismayed by an error or something relatively minor but worse. You lied on a form. Got it. Don’t do it again.
Now, did you return to the fray? Did you pick yourself up and keep going? And was it a successful outcome?
Good. Nuff said.