The most cherished piece of my life during the last two years is the time and space I have been able to allocate towards my own personal growth. As I think through my life to this point, it all feels like a refined progression of the way that I pursue my own personal growth. Whatever the discipline may be, doesn’t seem to matter as much as the process of how I continue to grow through it.
Here is a little secret about personal growth and how I have come to view it. No matter how much I learn and how much better I may become, I can’t take any credit for it isn’t my own creation. Yes, my understanding of this experience is unique to the infinite variations of any life, but what comes from my experience is merely the reverberations of many other minds that are far better matured than mine. The words I use are unique to my own experience, but from all of “my own” thoughts, there is only the culmination of many bits and pieces from others much wiser than I.
Which how great is that? Nothing we do or say is really new or our own, it’s only a new combination of knowledge from the beginning of time in which we are the fortunate recipients. With that knowledge, we also need to carefully craft the ways in which we experience ownership, through the actions of a daily discipline, to prove actual attainment of wisdom. Ownership over knowledge takes a great amount of time and intentional effort before that knowledge can be combined with experiences. Only then can the ownership of knowledge be joined with actual proof of experience to form wisdom that will transcend the individual and any particular discipline.
I always find myself thinking back to the time I was able to spend with great masters of many different disciplines. They all had their own way of saying the same thing but in so many different ways. Whether it was “I know nothing,” “I have been teaching It wrong for over 50 years,” or “I should have given this up a long time ago,” all my mentors have very honest feelings of self-doubt in the area of their discipline. If they didn’t practice daily, the self-doubt would have overcome them long ago. That’s why they obsess over their life and their discipline. They have to obsess in order to grow from within so that it eventually takes shape outside of them and through their discipline. I find It inspiring how honest these disciplinary masters were about how little they knew and how much more they had to learn. They were always reiterating that there is no easy path, only endless effort in order to feel honestly worthy of the pursuit of self-mastery through their desired disciplines. All they were trying to do at the end was bring honor and respect to those before them who have paved the way for all of us.
No matter how great any of us are at one thing or another, we are completely inept at infinitely more. There is no reason to be angry or cocky about what we may think we know, but merely confidence in the process in which we have dedicated ourselves to one discipline or another. In the end, it is all just another lesson of how much hard work and intentional effort it takes to really become truly competent at just one aspect of life. If we pursue that one discipline correctly and with humility, it all leads to one place. Compassion for oneself, all others, and the human experience we are all trying to sort through. An experience of which we spend a lifetime of endless hard work backed up against continual overcoming of self-doubt, to achieve a mere sliver of understanding. An understanding of our human nature and how hard it is to overcome our most basic states in which we all operate during the beginning.
If we understand ourselves correctly then we can truly connect and relate to all others. That doesn’t mean pure bliss or a constant state of love or happiness. It means continual trials and tribulations that we get to challenge ourselves against. That means civil discourse and many tough conversations in which others are going to attack you on a personal level in your most vulnerable state or weakest moments.
So who are you when all odds or circumstances are against you? This is what I am in constant training for through continual personal growth. The recognition of tough moments and the ability to act as I have projected myself to be in similar situations, whether theoretical or past. I know I will continue to transcend all others over the consistency at which I work on myself, on a daily basis, over the entirety of my life. This process will allow me to exponentially surpass those who choose to focus on the superficial or other negative aspects of life it leads to nowhere worthwhile. In order to refine our life, we must endure these tests in which to overcome the beginning levels of human nature that we all start on our journey to heightened awareness. Otherwise, we are not worthy to reach refinement, it has to be earned by each individual and no one else can do this for us.
Embrace the good and more importantly the downright ugly, for the experiences are all the same. Just another experience for us to prove to ourselves that we are who we think we are or we have attained the actual person we have been trying to become. That means accepting ownership for whatever the outcome may be and our part in It. There is always something that we could have personally done better within every experience!