Contrary to popular thinking, I have found the first step to truly embarking on the path of upward ascent is embraced in the following exhortation:
“Relinquish ALL benefit of the doubt you give yourself”.
It sounds easy, but requires a complete change in thinking and orientation. Quick examples.
1. Someone constantly annoys you and causes you vexation. Popular thinking is to criticize what you see as the person’s weakness, try to control them, or cut the person off. But this does not help to transform, as it conveniently hides us away from change. But the quote above demands… “what within my heart oppresses and causes me to be irritated through this person?”
2. Someone has a lot of drama-filled friends or toxic acquaintances, and they want change. Popular thinking is to cut those friends off since they bring negativity into one’s life and don’t fit in the “new”. This is change…yes. But superficial change. It conveniently avoids the hard question: “What desires and tendencies within my soul constantly attracts these personalities?” Unless we ask this question and deal with its root, in short order we will draw more eccentric personalities who will spill the same drama and negativity into our life.
This is not meant to encourage self-absorption. But rather the orientation of always seeking what is wrong about a situation (and thus the source of our oppression, suffering, and what needs to change) FIRST in our own hearts.
Ergo, in everything small and big, easy and hard, we must relinquish ALL benefit of the doubt we gives ourselves, and put our feet to the flames. Only when we do this are we serious about ascent. If not, we are joking with ourselves and will never truly find the way that leads upward.
~Ikenna Q Ezealah