|art credit: Vanessa Veira|
Win or lose, fail or succeed is almost always in the forefront of our being as a weighty consideration to what matters. But strangely, it’s doubtful to me that it matters the outcome (even though we may be conditioned to think otherwise). What matters, is the effort we made, the striving and struggle toward that which is calling us.
Effort is energy. It reads. It reads to oneself and others. It creates an influence to the outside and the inside. The quality of effort matters. Hard, forceful, determined, tense effort can be a ‘manhandling’ of one’s energy field (and others). One can push a boulder up a mountain after all, and get the job done with enormous external effort. Culturally, we understand effort by use of force.
In Chinese thought, all things contain yin and yang. The dark/light, hard/soft, passive/active. So it is in effort. Attaining or meeting something is sometimes a mere thought, feeling or sensation. Many bodywork principles are based on this. (ie: Alexander Technique: if I think upward and out the influence is felt in the rest of me and it happens.) We are conditioned that effort is rolling that boulder up the mountain. But effort also can be soft, sublime and a sensitized awareness that is cultivated and maintained.
|art credit: Phung Noi Fong|
Effort. When I chronically turn away from what is distressing and difficult, when I drop into my denial of what IS, I turn away from what matters. I lose my internal warrior. If I somehow can allow that courageous effort of facing what Is, not turn away, that becomes a moment of triumph. Even if I turn away again (which almost always is inevitable). Even if “nothing comes of it”…. this time.
What matters? What matters is I try even if it is assured I will fail. I am conditioned it is bad to fail. Facing that conditioning is an effort. The attempt to know myself in the discomfort of the unknown, with little to no internal recourse, and a certainty I will most likely fail, is strengthening the power of effort.
Failing this time, but maybe not the 100th time. The value becomes the Now and is no longer the outcome. It is a Quixotic attitude.
When I’ve contemplated over decades the karma of things, despair has often visited, knowing we are almost certain to repeat the mistakes and failures, possibly into the next life (if that should be so). The probability is slim we master that (seemingly) karmic challenge. But now, my attitude is not so fixed on mastering the weakness or frailty. What matters is I worked with it consistently; I met it over and over again and made efforts to know it. That effort, it builds sustenance inside and strength outside. It is an influence on all of the world and also me and possibly my karma. Transformation and miracles are possible due to this. This is the Water element in Chinese medicine. The wearing away of the stone by a drop of water that falls, repeated a zillion times. Light, methodical, patient, and repetitive. Water conquers all, eventually.
|art credit: Polly Verity|