Thursday, February 24, 2011

Don't be attached to outcomes.

Show up.
Pay attention.
Tell the truth.
Don't be attached to outcomes.

--Hal Pepinsky's view of restorative justice via ELouise.

My pal, Emma's recent posts have been dedicated to restorative justice and some of her soul seeking. In the midst of what is clearly murky in her life, I see real peace and joy. So, Emma, thank you for that. Of all the ways to walk this world, I find that your path has been profoundly inspirational to me. You take the next step. You give it your all. You go when it's time, you stay when it feels right. You embrace the experiences you are given and you are open.

There's a bravery in stepping out and making choices when nothing is certain. When one suffers from control issues and type A personality like I do, the most terrifying thing is to not have every duck lined up, quacking with precision. An elaborate flow chart that anticipates even the worst of scenarios. So what happens when someone lights the flow chart on fire and then shoots the ducks? Well, it forces people like me to be brave.

I made only a couple new year's resolutions this year:
1. Take my vitamins daily.
2. Go easy on myself.

Number two on the list is more difficult by far to accomplish and I HATE to take pills. I need to stop giving in to the demon of paralyzing perfection that says I "ought to be" doing, saying, thinking, weighing, eating, exercising, creating, writing, reading... I just need to let me be... who I am in the moment. I think this quote stolen out of context seems to really sum it up.

"Show up.
Pay attention.
Tell the truth.
Don't be attached to outcomes."

In the present. One day at a time. Accepting what is.
For me this resonates with Taoist parable I have long loved, "The Farmer's Luck"

There once was a farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day, his horse had run away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. "Such bad luck," they said sympathetically. "Maybe," the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it two other wild horses. "Such good luck!" the neighbors exclaimed. "Maybe," replied the farmer.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown off, and broke his leg. Again the neighbors came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune."Such bad luck," they said. "Maybe," answered the farmer.

The day after that, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army to fight in a war. Seeing that the young man's leg was broken, they passed him by. "Such good luck!" cried the neighbors. "Maybe," said the farmer.

Things are looking up. Maybe.

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