Often there are things that go unsaid, things that I think but never find the opportunity to vocalize for one reason or another. Sometimes I can move on from it, other times I cannot. Last night was very strange…as I mentioned earlier my professor was absent (at least in physical form) from class and the anxiety was palpable. I could literally feel myself full of nervous energy, though I myself did not feel one way or another about her not being there, the plus and minus of being me I suppose. The thing that kept coming to mind was fear. The question that was in me to ask all night was “What are we afraid of?” Perhaps there was a reason, well no…of course there was a reason I did not ask it. Namely because I’ve become a bit self conscious about speaking in that class. I am not really an attention seeker and it seems that the more I avoid it the more I find myself in the thick of it. Ironic since last semester one of my top tasks was to yield to the things that gave me great anxiety. What happens when everyone sees me? Even then, just now I wanted to displace and write “what happens when everyone sees you,” in the abstract.
When I shared a quote last night: Thought: that which we view as weak is our biggest fear. We act in spite of it and that is why that which we seek to control, controls us. Thus, we are ruled by not our strengths, but by our weaknesses. To defeat this, one must make not an enemy of weakness but embrace it. Only through yielding can one conquer. I could literally feel anxiety spilling out of my mouth, nervousness was dripped on each syllable and fear coated my throat and I remembered that when I was younger I used to get terrible stage fright. I felt that again but I couldn’t discern whose it was or if it was my own. I just knew my hands were shaking, not the first time in this class. The point being, I didn’t really want that again. I don’t like that feeling (duh, who does?) of being held captive by fear. So I missed it. I passed up the opportunity to ask the one question that sat in the corner of my mind with its hand raised waiting to be given the floor.
I am curious how many opportunities am I missing due to fear/discomfort/anxiety/ego. Yes, ego…as it is our “reality” moderator when we get those feelings our ego knows we are scared and sings us a sweet lullaby of mediocrity and we feel content to rest at stalemate. I liken it a little bit to the Lotus Eaters from Homer’s Odyssey. The people on the island ingest the lotus plant and as a result fall into deep slumber; years go by that feel like seconds, time is lost and at the hands of feeding. Taken metaphorically, when we indulge our ego we fall victim to the same stupor. NO! Where’s Ms. Badu? I [wanna] stay woke! I hate feeling the remnants of ego-discharge left on my tongue. Especially as I continually refer to it, mentally, by its whole name: ego, edging God out.
So…I missed it. Lesson learned, and maybe next time? Maybe but I’m letting it go for now. There is usually a new thing on my heart each class and things stirred in meetings prior have settled elsewhere in my being. I guess I just wanted to call attention, I saw you, and acknowledge the pass for what it was. Fear. I really wish I knew why it is that all the things I don’t want to be, I’m being called to be. My guess is that it is no coincidence, of course, what is? I am forgiven though. This missing happened so that the next time I will remember carpe momento, seize the moment. I will not rest.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”