Accepting our Weaknesses
By Gina Shaw
“The pair of opposites do not effect a yogi — neither praise nor insult.”
– Yogi Bhajan
Every day we go out into the world with both self and societal expectations coming from every which way. In the chaos of responsibilities and deadlines, I have witnessed how my thinking mind eventually reaches a breaking point. The expectation to perform in a certain way doesn’t always parallel the reality and often this is interpreted by the mind as a “failure”. It’s an all or nothing mindset that creates both physical and mental tension which can lead to more harm than good.
In our Western world we are seeing the mindfulness movement expand, teaching us how cultivating Present awareness can make our lives better, happier and more fulfilling. While this is certainly true, it does not capture the whole picture of what this cultivation can do to help us in times of fear and insecurity and when we feel we are unable to live up to the demand of expectations. In my observation, we as a whole spend a significant amount of time highlighting our successes while avoiding failure at all costs. Unfortunately, this creates an unstable foundation in a world of duality where success is just as real as failure.
Equanimity is the term in both yogic and Buddhist philosophy that has found little integration into this modern mindfulness movement. Equanimity is defined as, “a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind.” This state grounds us among the emotional toils of daily life and gives us the stability to think and act with clear and focused intentions. It is not indifference, rather quite the opposite. This stable mindset allows us to exist with greater compassion towards the things in life that are difficult.
This state of being lies within the trust of our higher Selves – what connects us to all Life. Call this whatever you feel suits you best; Spirit, God, Light, Creator.
When we can tap into that source of infinite Light, we find the love and humility to look at our strengths and weaknesses with kindness. Our weaknesses and even our strengths do not have the power to ultimately define who we are. We are both simultaneously Being and Becoming – Being as the pure boundless Light and Becoming as ever evolving and changing, growing and learning. Side by side, these two states of existence flow in and out of one another to create who we are. We are never static – change is truly the only constant we have in life
Our spiritual practice truly begins when we are ready to open our arms to all faults with love, both within ourselves and all others. For this acceptance is the catalyst for release of our insecurities and fear of our weaknesses; in this darkness with discover our Light which shines upon all that we are.
We will always have areas that we flourish in and other aspects that are not as intuitive, but this does not mean one is better while the other is worse. If we can step back just a bit and breathe into every part of ourselves, we allow ourselves the gift of gratitude for our full existence. What a truly beautiful blessing that is.