In recent months, everything that others have done for me while fixing up my home has fallen so far short of what we had agreed on that it has to contain an important message. Even this week things that seemed good are not so good. And although I haven't really been taken advantage of, my good will has been stretched to its limit. What's the message?
At first, I thought that it is that I am too naïve and others take advantage of me. I worked on my early drafts and although it had some truth in it, I could feel something was missing. So I continued working on it and saw something else. It is what makes regular writing so useful. You discover for yourself the inadequacy of your own ideas and get better at improving them over time. That's why it is so valuable to not just think or talk about your experiences but to write them down, reread them a few days later and rework them in relation to your evolving understanding. As you do this repeatedly, you learn to recognize whether something seems empty or has the ring of truth and figure out how to correct it. It's such a good method for integrating our own ideas with those of authorities that as we advance in school we are required to write more and more papers that go into greater and greater depth.
Now back to last week. To come up with alternatives, I went back to my analogy generator: I must be in my spiritual life exactly the way others are with me. This made more sense. And what is the root of my not doing things in spirituality as precisely as they should be done? It's not just a time pressure but the inner pressure that I have been studying in recent months that drives me to want to resolve whatever situation is before me ASAP, even if it isn't very important. I had become so involved in trying to keep others on track and correct what others were not doing right in my home that I slacked off on my main job—my spiritual development. I had become more spiritually sloppy than usual.
This inner pressure creates a certain impatience that causes errors. It stops me from doing things exactly as I should. For example, I spent several hours trying to program a simple motor before calling for technical support. I discovered that once I made an error, it changed how I needed to proceed. Each time I tried to correct it, I made things more complex.
In everyday life we are forced to see the importance of following directions in a precise order and in a precise way to get the right results, yet in spirituality I think that my faults are so great that there has to be allowance for someone like me. Yet, if I want to advance, I can see that I need to follow my principles more precisely and be more attentive to what I am doing. From this perspective these difficulties remind me of the precision needed in my spiritual life. It pushes me to be more demanding of myself and have fewer expectations of others.
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