In the constant ebb and flow of our lives, the lows are the times that test our faith in ourself and in the ever-generous Spirit when we are well-aligned.
When I was most successful, I missed the joy of the days because I was always apprehensive that the bottom would fall out. I thought if I reveled in glory, I would be punished or invoke some ill-fate to remind me of my place. I felt more at home in the lows with my hand hovering over the panic button. Maybe this was from my upbringing by parents who survived Germany through the scarcity of WWII.
It wasn’t until I was well into my thirties that a friend opened my eyes. “You are so full of self-sabotage,” he said. It was the first time I had heard the expression, but I understood it instinctively, immediately.
“What do you mean?” I asked him to explain.
“I have never known anyone with more innate talent and good fortune than you and yet you always do something to stop short of the goal, short of the one step that will take you even further.”
I heard my mother. This was only a variation of something she told me all my life. “You never finish anything.” Thanks Mom. Nowadays they dub this self-fulfilling prophecy. Of course, having my Mom to blame only took the focus away from me. I was, after all, an observant and clever individual, I thought. My successes proved it. But Ray was right. I was full of self-sabotage and reinforced it with self-deprecating remarks whenever I wasn’t boasting. I had yin and yang up the wing-wang.
I decided to takes Ray’s notes and advice to heart. Whenever I caught myself slipping, I wrenched up my German discipline and pushed my way through. It was amazing! Things picked up and I saw myself nearly glide to the next level after level. I was in my heyday.
But life has a way of cycling and high days were followed a period of a series deaths and challenges I had never imagined. Death is the sperm of deceit. Like a mushroom forest after the rain, vultures and weasels appeared out of nowhere. Grief was the lesser challenge. Fighting off the human demons nearly drove me crazy.
I forgot what Ray had said and started to slip. No praise for my astute management of our inherited estate could hide the feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt that hid under my feet ready, once again after glaring success, to pull the rug out from under me!
Though I even heard my mother’s praise for having managed her estate and my sister’s and my family’s futures so well, the old ingrained inadequacies that she inadvertently helped to cement revealed they had not disappeared but merely been overcome by a stronger purpose.
Like our own physical bodies that are riddled with bacteria and plagues at all times, yet we don’t see them until our immune system is challenged and the balance of power is swayed. We are never without challenges. We simply become more vulnerable when we are worn down.
But the spirit of intention that keeps every human and blade of grass alive and growing in its own rhythm of life is always there propelling us onward and upward if we will but cease to interfere.
This is where we come to the Success Mongers. Say, you are blind to the abundance you have and you are convinced you need even more. Or maybe you are projecting a future of financial doom and start pounding on the panic button with your fist, each bang being another book or another course from the success mongers who know your panic state the way a shark knows the smell of blood.
In the ebb of our rhythms we tend to look outward for something to add to help solve our challenges when, more often than not, we would do better to take a break and subtract or do less and let the balance of nature lift us to the surface when we feel we are drowning. Instead, we accumulate more and yet again more to weigh us down instead of stripping ourselves of our heavy, water-logged garments so we can swim, or at least float to the surface!
This is not to say that, in the world of man where finance is an invention of man, we cannot improve our situation by learning from those who play the game well. It is to say that, in a state of panic we thrash the water drawing sharks and losing our focus. Picture yourself being on a boat with Jean-Michel Cousteau and deliberately immersing yourself in shark-filled waters. It can be done and often is, but without the proper equipment and instruction, the odds stack up against you.
Read a book a week. Take on online course. But don’t lose sight of yourself or your life or your loved ones or your health. This list, in reverse order, is what will improve your ability to focus, understand and make changes.
A moment of panic may serve you well as incentive, but any success that comes out of continuous panic is merely a fluke.
Some people (and I may be talking about myself) thrive on certain levels of stress and flounder when the meter is not in the red. The point is not the degree of panic, but the clarity that you need to move forward. If your eyes tend to fall shut when things are quiet, then by all means, freak out, but not so much that you step out of instead of into your new wings.