Have you ever wonder, most of the time when you do something, what is the force behind that moves you to do it? And I am talking about daily chores, sweeping the floor, washing the dishes, driving your kids to school, working… what is the attitude behind those actions? Have you noticed?
Many people say, “if I don’t do it, nobody else would do it.”; or “must do one mah… it is our responsibility”; or “if I dont do this, then xxx will/will not…” … well, whatever it is – whatever one says or not say, do or not do – is already an effect.
I’ve observed for quite some time, that ‘Guilt’ or ‘Fear’ seems to become the biggest motivating force behind most people’s actions. Or maybe they were my biggest motivating force which is why they were being reflected to me for my observation. Are they different – Guilt & Fear? In truth, they derive from the same nature. The other extreme of ‘Love’.
We are all the same. How do I know? Through a conversation with Angel, she told me that when she decided to kick her addiction to sleeping (yup, you heard right – she can REALLY sleep), she was non-stop doing something. And even as she consciously sit still to observe, she observed the mind or rather the feeling of always wanting to ‘do’ something if the body was not sleeping. Strangely, that was what I observed in myself too.. especially in smoking. In the journey of quitting or rather slowing dowm smoking, I had managed to observe the many attitudes behind my smoking. It’s like.. there is a kind of guilt or fear of not doing anything – that moves the body or the mind to keep looking for something to do!
And my teacher reminded, “the ego/mind is always wanting to do something – to chase something, missing the most important moment of the Now”. Of course – not in exact words, but that is what I understand from it.
Being mindful, or aware of ourselves are we able to stop ourselves from being in an autopilot mode. And being out of the autopilot mode are we able, to conciously choose once again the intention behind the creation of every thought and action.
I remember another of my teacher telling me this during my first few sessions with him, “you can do anything… as long as they are unconditional” meaning guiltlessly and fearlessly. I’d use to question myself, “geez.. how is THAT possible?”. But today, I come to understand while guilt can be the greatest motivating force to do something, I could always surrender those feelings/thoughts and choose again. Did you know, that it is the unconscious guilt buried in our subconscious mind that allows us to come back to this dimension AGAIN and AGAIN as cited in the Buddha’s teachings and A Course of Miracles? I’d come to a point, where I realised that all the organised religions were all heading towards the same directions – and it is more than just doing good or being a good person. It’s really more than that.
By the way, the Dharma (Buddha’s teachings) and A Course of Miracles are not really religious teachings. They are teachings that leads us out of this ‘samsara’.
So really, are we able to always watch the intention and attitude behind the doing or saying? Even in the midst of the busy-ness of completing a task, can we watch our own attitude of wanting to complete the task? Is it with resistence (then why am I still doing it)? Is it with joy (what does that joy equate – selfish or selfless fulfillment)? It’s plentiful opportunities to get to know ourselves, I’d say – and this helps in much understanding and compassion towards ourselves too. We may, for the first time, realise how hard we have been on ourselves and perhaps, choose again how we’d want to live our lives.