Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why I Am Right

     In our polarized society we pull our choices tightly around our shoulders like cloaks identifying us as smarter than them. We cling to our political parties even though partisanship gets us no where fast. We cling to our liturgies because quite simply we are right and they are going to straight to hell. We white knuckle grasp our eating choices, our exercise choices, our entertainment choices, our endless choices. In the yoga world this is found not so much by identifying with a brand anymore, i.e Anusara, Ashtanga, etc. But with identifying with a teaching style. "I ONLY teach mindful yoga or I ONLY flow and sweat with an awesome DJ". We have gotten past the "my brand is the right way" mentality only to get stuck in the my teaching/practicing method is the right way lie. Humans find comfort and power in group identification and so we draw boundaries around our ideas and seek out like minded people and cluster. I have heard the phrase "good to be with like minded people" one too many times this month. Heck, I have thought it myself after a great discussion with a "like minded person". So what's the problem with thinking our choices are the right choices and hanging out with only like minded people then?

     It is my thinking that we are put here on earth for several reasons, the first of which is growth. We hopefully grow in self actualization as we age but part of growth is questioning our choices and if they hold up to scrutiny then maybe we embrace them for a season. If our choices don't hold up we have to be OK being wrong and move on. The only reality of the human experience is that change is the only constant and the more we hang on to being right in any area the more we impede change and change is growth. If living things aren't growing they are dying. So my circular logic leads me to this: clinging to our rightness brings us closer to death.

     We are here to serve and love and to discover our unity as a species. Prana, chi,  life force, holy spirit, whatever you want to call it, it runs through all of us black, white, gay, straight, circus clowns and senators. I like the analogy that we are all fish in an aquarium and this life force is our water. When we insist on rightness and by virtue of that choice insist on their "wrongness" we are pissing in our own water.  Jesus said we are to become servants, to wash dirty feet and wipe away salty tears. We can't do these things if we are busy explaining to our fellow beings why their dirty feet and tears are wrong.

     Another reason the words "I'm right" scare me a bit is that we are told to come to God as a little child. I interpret this to mean get off your pride horse Lone Ranger you do not know it all! Being open to the idea that your way is not the only way and that people you find wrong may be your teachers is a step towards humility. Believing you're right about stuff shuts down the potential for learning and growth but even worse it strokes our pride as it whispers sweet nothings about our awesomeness in our tickled little ears. The choices you make today may be right for you in the moment but clinging to the notion of rightness closes the door to growth, change, humbleness and human connection.
     So today I choose to practice mindful yoga and eat omnivorously and vote by candidates not by parties and immerse myself in Judeo Christian theology. But, I know these are just choices, neither right or wrong they are just my choices.  Not better or worse than your choices. They just are and this, I believe, opens my eyes a little wider to gaze into yours. And it is in looking at one another we see God.  The only "right" is love and clinging to the rightness of our choices stifles love.

There is no room for God in a person who is full of himself
Baal Shem Tov 

No comments:

Post a Comment