Tug O’ War

You want to fly! But part of you holds back. You’re jazzed about creating a fantastic life! And part of you sits in the corner, sucking your thumb in self-doubt.

Sound familiar?

I used to think this was the inevitable war playing out between my Higher and lower selves — the conflict between my divinity and my humanity on the battlefield of everyday affairs in work, money, intimate relationships and spirituality.

I used to think that to fly all I had to do was be good and do everything right.

When that didn’t work out I was disappointed, but comforted by the belief that this war within was normal. It was the LIGHT and the DARK within me wrestling for supremacy — the devil and the angel sitting on either shoulder arguing over my soul like a dry wishbone ready to split.

Every time my “good self” won I felt great. Every time my “bad self” won, I felt terrible. Meditate for two hours every morning for a week? I was righteous! Too hung over to even think about it? I was a horrible person.

For decades, when I ate right and said and did all the right things I was flying high. And when I wasn’t good I flagellated myself with guilt until I was back in line.

Sigh.

I suppose this crap is inevitable. After all, religion’s been around for a loooong time. And believing in good and evil is like … um … the way it is. Right?

Um … NOT!

It’s a belief designed to fail.

It’s a belief designed to incur maximum emotional distress and keep us spinning.

It’s a belief designed to keep us in the fold. (And whether the “fold” is Catholicism or Zen or Advaita doesn’t matter one bit.) And as long as we’re dealing with “good” and “bad” and “right” and “wrong” we’re screwed.

What to do?

Look. Have you ever noticed that when you do “bad” stuff it always comes with its own repercussions? Hangovers, STDs, unwanted pregnancies, broken relationships, addictions and, in general, unremitting pain and suffering?

Have you ever noticed that when you do “good” stuff it always comes with its own repercussions? Happiness, high energy, warm connection with others, satisfaction and joy?

Who needs religious/spiritual guilt and a bunch of dogma and stupid rules?

LIFE teaches us what works and what doesn’t on its own. We just have to live it.

I guarantee, as soon as you get rid of all the “spiritual rules” and guilt crap that keep you recycling through the whole Sin and Redemption Game, the lessons life gives you (that you give yourself) will whip you into shape faster than you can say “Pass the pretzels, please!”

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