“True contentment comes with empathy.” — Tim Finn
No one said any of this would be easy. And we all have ample opportunity to gripe about the ambiguity of discernment.
On the one hand, integrity is unavoidable – even if you give it no attention, your actions and choices show it all the time. On the other hand, by giving integrity attention we gain a credibility with ourselves demonstrating a willingness to discern. But, as it often turns out, our actions and choices do not always conform with our discernment – despite our best intentions. We are often put in the ironic situation of deciding what our “future self” might like, and then, upon arriving at that future time, we discover that NOW we don’t like what we decided. Kinda strange, right?!
In today’s blog, I want to look the pairing of resourcefulness and choice. Mostly because this combination tells us a lot about ourselves and about integrity.
First, do you remember the two ideas I find myself coming back to with regard to resistance and attachment:
- That ego-informed resistance bends itself, by its own desire, into something healthy and mobile; that is, ego-informed resistance can willingly restore mobility through integration, and
- That ego-informed attachment gives itself to ‘Mama’ as ‘the deal’ we make with ourselves; that is, we create our own version of reciprocal engagement by placing trust where ever we choose.
Why do I come back to these ideas? Because I see them as essential expressions of resourcefulness: a willingness restore mobility through integration AND an ability to place trust where ever we choose.
What demonstrates resourcefulness more than being flexible, adaptive, coherent, energized and stable. That’s the advantage of integration. We hold many sources of strength. We are balanced, resilient and supple.
Equally, if we place trust where we choose, then we give ourselves permission to be go after what we want. We can realize the vision that we choose for ourselves, become more aligned.
The fact that our egos are often over-involved … in justifying exactly how, when, and why we move towards integration and mobility, or towards trust and engagement … that fact alone makes resourcefulness the source of much distress. An ‘ego’ price must be paid when ever we move toward a fuller expression of resourcefulness.
Timothy Gallwey has a nice way of working around our Self 1 “ego” investment by having us appreciate our Self 2’s “involuntary ideal.” The difference between Self 1 and Self 2 can be summarized as follows:
- Self 1 distracts by design. Self 1 is that inner voice that questions and doubts; it chastises and harangues; it is the inner voice that once we appease it, by giving it our attention, we can no longer make use of our Self 2 resources.
- Self 2 is our natural state of energy and flow that we give to what ever we want. Self 2 possesses “our inner ideal”; it knows the person we are meant to be, and it knows that only as an involuntary ideal, as a wish that lives in the moment.
So we constantly have difficulty with discernment. Mostly because the involuntary and idealized self that lives in the here-and-now can be distracted by ego-self that pulls us out of the here-and-now. There is a tension about how we hold the moment, about selecting an involuntary ideal.
Resourcefulness, in the broader sense, is not simply about the willingness restore mobility through integration and the ability to place trust where ever we choose. It is also a test of complexity and simplicity.
Can we be empathetically aware enough to let go of our concerns and be present in the here-and-now?
Tim Finn makes a good point: “True contentment comes with empathy.” Complexity is created by empathy (we must be bigger than ourselves). Simplicity is created by being present in the here-and-now (we must suspend critical judgment).
And who would ever have thought that contentment comes from having empathy for our own resourcefulness? That – by bending resistance toward integration, we can put trust where we choose – and then make choices that benefit others just as much as us. That may not be our only choice, but I’m thinking that our inner ideal really wants us to be bigger than our own self-interest.
Thanks for listening!