When I was a kid hearing about how we are born into our lives in order to purify our souls, burn off karmic consequences, and grow closer to enlightenment, I wanted to start work on that immediately.
Some people think that a belief in reincarnation would make someone complacent, feeling like they have all the time in the world to deal with problems. Not for me! I felt from a very young age how short this life is and I didn’t want to squander it. I wanted to make great strides in the goal of total enlightenment/moksha. There was no time to lose. Samadhi takes a long time to achieve!
The trouble was in knowing what issues there were for me to deal with in this lifetime.
I was told that certain themes would come up again and again. The things I needed to learn would repeat themselves, getting more and more intense, until I fixed them. But at 10 or 12 or 14 there hadn’t been enough time for me to face any issues twice! Don’t ask me why I was such a determined little spiritual child. From what I hear, it’s pretty unusual for five year olds to be seriously pondering death and the meaning of life, but what can I say? I’m a weirdo.
Now that I’m 31, I can see much more clearly the problems that get in my way.
Top of the list for sure is envy. But wait, didn’t I just tell you that I don’t believe in comparing one’s self to others? Yes I did! I know how destructive it is because I have such a hard time not doing it. I get envy in a lot of different spheres of my life.
When other people have things I want such as children, I feel envy.
I get professional envy when I see books written by people younger than me or prettier than me! (I know, I know, what a stupid thing to get envious of!)
I feel envy over how my friends spend their time and envy of friends who are more charming and likable than I am (and yeah, nothing adds to my likability like seething with envy, right?)
It’s a big problem because left unchecked it makes me into a bitter person. I sound like a total brat, don’t I? I know it and that’s why I’m working hard to redirect these types of feelings. It’s an ongoing challenge for me.
When things get too serious in my life, I run away and hide. Especially professionally. When I see a great opportunity just perfect for me, I suddenly start procrastinating on the steps I need to take to get it.
Why do I do this? I have no idea. Fear of failure, maybe. I tend to avoid having too much responsibility because I don’t want to let anyone else down. That includes avoiding gym class back in high school because of a terror that I would let down my classmates in volleyball games.
When it comes to something that I should reach for, I can usually be found hiding in my closet.
I might take the first step and then panic and try to get out of whatever it is.
This particularly hurts me in my career as I try to publicize novels. I’m doing both writing books and publishing other people’s books. All of the marketing is on me to get done. I would have a lot more books, stories, and other pierces of writing to my name(s) if I could get past the self-sabotage.
Those are the big ones. There are other things like occasional defensiveness or touches of greed that need to be worked on too, but these two are my really big challenges.