I was talking with a friend the other day and mid sharing my thoughts about what she was saying, I had an aha! moment that maybe I was completely screwed up in what I was saying. Have you ever had that moment? A sudden understanding, mid-sentence, that what you are saying might be codswallop? I had been looking at what she was talking about from a Law of Attraction point of view. She had some unpleasant things recently visit her life and I was questioning whether she had learned the lessons they brought and thereby put that particular brand of unpleasant thing to bed. (The lessons you don't learn will return until you do learn them.) The conversation brought to mind three important things:
1. The only thing that matters is this moment now. We were talking about things she had done and I was speculating, using the Law of Attraction, about them. In the moment we were talking, she had already done those things. My speculation, just ego or "data." Unimportant mind chatter that keeps we humans "busy." Besides, speculation about something that has already happened and whether or not it was the "right thing" as Eckhart Tolle would point out, is insanity. You can't rewrite moments that have already happened and the practice of obsessively revisiting them falls under doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, which Albert Einstein would point out is insanity. (In case you don't follow that one. You may be doing different things throughout time, but if you are constantly rethinking them and speculating about their accuracy, the thinking and speculating fall under "always doing the same thing.") Life is essentially one big tennis game with the ball perpetually and constantly landing in your court.
2. No matter how much I change or try to change, I end up with that moment, egg on my face, realizing I have merged the old way of being Angela into the new way of being Angela. After a lifetime of using criteria to control my own behavior so I would be a "good" or "valuable" person, I realized the other day that I come to the point where I was doing it again. This time with the Law of Attraction. I had shifted to a place where I judged actions by whether or not they would attract good things or bad things into your life. Or, in this case, my friend's life. There is no right or wrong action. I know you're going to fight me and disagree on this point, but I really think there is no right or wrong action. There is only whatever action you take. See, life may be a tennis game where the service is always coming towards you, but it is YOUR life. Those choices are YOUR choices and create your path. You know what they say about that. "No one else can walk your path. Only you." It doesn't mean I was bad or wrong to share those opinions with my friend, she is someone I care about and I was trying to be helpful.
3. My own path is the complicated dance of someone with two left feet who is always moving one step backward for every two or three forward. I think humans are always drawn to that which is familiar. No matter how much meditation or clearing on limiting beliefs, eventually my guard comes down and my subconscious drifts back to old habits. It's like setting yourself up in a new apartment in a new town and the first time you let your mind drift during your commute, you find yourself getting off the bus at your old place. The trick is, when you find yourself doing it on that larger scale, blow it off in a sheepish, "silly me" sort of way. Just like you would the bus mishap. Call it a silly freak occurrence, not something that labels you a "failure."
As my mind swum in all of this "data," I realized something else. A lot of the platitudes we use in personal growth communities, are just that, because they aren't really very useful. For instance, the one about not caring what other's opinions of you are. When you read it or somebody tells it to you, it is all about being true to yourself and not caving in to peer pressure. Many times I have told people who accused me of it, that I do not care what other people think of me. Which on the one hand is true, but on the other hand is a complete fantasy. OF COURSE, I care what people think of me. I have people I care about. People I love. For those people I sometimes edit myself or behave in ways I know will bring a smile to their face. I care that the people in my life experience me in a positive way. I enjoy people being happy to see me. I don't think that's a bad thing, but of course, it is subject to the same "nobody's home" subconscious habitual behavior. It's one thing to turn your car radio station to jazz because your friend who loves jazz is riding with you; it's entirely another to never switch the radio back to your own preferred station because no one but you likes it. In the former, you are being a gracious and thoughtful host. In the latter, you are erasing your own existence.
Still, all of it, the thoughts and labels, are all just data. Just ego "busy work" to keep you entertained while you're alive. Just like you, your ego thinks all of it is important. It thinks it has to "sort all of this out and make sense of it." We gather our data and cling to it as if it will allow us to hold onto our past or somehow predict our future. None of it matters.
What does matter is what you do right now.