Morgan Freeman hosts a show called “The Story of God” where he goes around asking religious leaders, scholars and scientists about things like eternity, creation, Armageddon and the like. It’s fascinating and I highly recommend it. On one episode he is talking to a the Karmapa about mediation. Freeman says, “Will you teach me about meditation?”
The Karmapa considers and answers, “I’ll try.” They cut to the next scene and His Holiness gives Freeman instruction. At the end of the instruction the Karmpapa says, “Ok. Let’s try.”
We get stuck sometimes, right? Well I know I get stuck sometimes. My thoughts will imprison me. Someone will drop the needle on the record of some story that my ego wants me to believe, and then I’m stuck. The record plays back every fancied or real injury. I get locked in a thought pattern that repeats and repeats in my ear. “You’ll never…”, “It’s always…” and “I can’t… I just can’t…”
I’m assuming that I’m not alone in this. We all are prey to thought patterns that don’t serve our highest good. Practicing mindfulness means that we have to recognize when we are stuck and then try to take the needle off the record. Maybe we don’t feel like trying right this minute, but could we try later? How about in 5 minutes? or maybe tomorrow?
I believe that the thing that keeps us stuck is the lack of trying. Look, we don’t have to succeed, we can just try.
With that tiny bit of willingness, that tiny attempt, the whole of Creation moves to help. The Universe smiles and says, “I like the cut of her jib, I’m gonna help that that sweet kid out.” the next thing we know, we try, and something happens. We end up doing the thing. Whatever it is. It’s happening. We’re doing it. We are no longer listening to the broken record of shame, doubt and the lies our ego wants us to believe. All because we tried.
Just for Today
I am going to practice being aware of when I’m putting limits on myself. When I hear my thoughts say, “I can’t” I’m going to use the magic words, “I’ll try.” I’ll be open to see what happens.
My Higher Power, I humbly ask for your intervention. In my humanity, I can get wrapped around the axle of my own self judgement and expectations, thinking that I know best. Show me when I’m in a loop of negative feedback. Help me to be willing to try, regardless of the outcome. Take my fear and help me to trust that even if I fail that you will still be here with me, and that you love me regardless of the outcome.