A favorite quote of mine is “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” and while I cannot be sure of its origin, it has occupied my thoughts for many hours over the years, and I have come to believe that the teachers are all around us, all of the time, and that the lessons then, are also around us at all times. It is we as students who are not ready to see, and so, like the early Indian peoples who are said to have not been able to see the ships off the coast, because such a thing was not possible in their minds, the lessons that will inevitably drive us forward into growth remain unseen, until the possibility of such growth is within our grasp.
As we approach a place where we may be able to grow, the resistance to such growth then jumps up to defend our ego, it manifests itself in many ways, but always with the same goal. To prevent us from changing. Change after all, is the enemy of the ego, it challenges what we believe at our core. It challenges how we see ourselves, and how we see the world around us. That very change, is the most threatening thing to the Ego, to have all that it has built up threatened with being wrong is too much for the fragile Ego and so it defends its false beliefs vehemently.
Anger, Grief, Fear, even Joy can be manipulated to distract and withdraw from the truth, to look away from the lesson so that the Ego can remain whole, and in control.
This weekend, like every weekend where real work is being done, I had the opportunity to see many forms of resistance, including one that I had forgotten about – Fatigue. This weekend a participant with great potential, struggled again and again with an overwhelming fatigue, tired and feeling ill, amplifying these feelings and giving them power until even the thought of participating in simple and fun events was distasteful because the ego recognized that by participating, it would come face to face with the obvious truth. The Ego then would have to give way to that higher self and in a moment of clarity, change would come. It was a difficult battle, but I believe that the participant won, in the end there was a different feel, a more powerful and engaged person who had power and could create change. Sure the Ego will jump up again, it may be many battles before the fatigue is finally beat down, and the change becomes the norm, but the glimpse of it was there. The hint that there may be something more.
I am humbled by the lesson. I remain as always a student. Sometimes I study well, and other times the lesson eludes me. Today I am reminded to guard against fatigue, especially when it seems to have no valid source, when I am tired for no reason. Today I remember that such fatigue is surely a sign that I am fighting a lesson which is close at hand. I will try to recognize that and seek the lesson.
Should this entry find its way to the participant who experienced the battle – Thank you, though your work I learned anew.
For the rest of us, lets just remember if we can, that the lessons are all around us – and sometimes it is others who do the fighting for us…