Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Progress is the most important project.

If we're making progress, the stage of progress doesn’t matter. When we start to make progress, that’s what matters. What matters is continuing to progress, because if we don’t do that, we tread water. We merely stay afloat; but if all we can honestly manage is to stay afloat, that’s better than drowning.

An indicator of progress consists of expanding willingness and ability to feel the uncomfortable. Nobody likes to feel nervous, edgy or afraid. But when we do, in principle, it's better to feel those because they’re authentic feelings. I want to face life. I want to progress. Do you want to learn to better tolerate feelings you'd rather not have ? Do you want to better absorb and feel who you are in the moment; then learn what lessons your feelings teach you about yourself ? I do.

Tools for making progress in a garden

It’s uplifting when an aspect that troubles you in relation to others fades. That’s progress. The aspect may not have entirely disappeared. You may find yourself now caring less about what people think of you. You catch yourself more often. You notice when you’re playing politics and not being authentic. You realize with greater perceptivity when you accede and let someone dictate the operation of your affairs. By opening yourself to how mistaken behavior or habits generate anxious feelings, you can chart a plan of action to change the behavior. The key is to feel the feelings so you grasp what you’re dealing with. And then take action.

Flowers of progress in a garden.

Progress in a particular regard is especially valuable. It promotes calm. It holds the hand of faith and walks with surety of foot. It grows awareness that we are not alone but part of a whole. It’s the birthing of intuition that whispers or cajoles. It’s energy tending to support the humble and humble the proud. The closer to this spiritual source, the more progress is made on manifesting its peace to those around us.

I’m not an expert on spirituality. I don’t have an M.A. in psychology or social science. I do know about the hole. The hole is a deep, empty loneliness that seeks to eradicate its tribulations by smothering feelings. The hole may choose different ways. Each wipes away authentic but hurting feelings. Each way replaces discomfort with temporary gratification.

Instead of nourishing human growth, these ways feed the urge to compulsively eat or drink. We feed a craving for narcotics or sex. We feed an addiction to gamble. The diseases expand but don’t fill the hole. The loneliness hides inside unacknowledged. Consequences like mortgage defaults, broken relationships, morbid obesity and imprisonment follow in the train of these abuses.

The answer is spiritual. The remedy to the cry of agony inside the hole of one’s being is to embark on a spiritual journey. With authentic desire and rigorous honesty, one can have impediments to growth in life removed. From whatever stage, one can progress towards contentment.

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