Sometimes my brain fucking amazes me – in an annoying kind of way. Like, how can I go from writing my ecstatic post about all the epic shizzle I manifested in the last year, all the way to feeling guilty that I didn’t manifest a badass life sooner!?
I finally learned how to take off those “shit-colored glasses” (as my friend and client, Rivkah Wood, likes to say) and I think, “Oh wow! Look at this creative and wonderful life! The possibilities are endless! I can’t wait to everyone else to figure this out! Oh, and before I get too happy, let’s not forget all the ways I totally fucked up.”
Sometime in the last 48 hours, I began running through the many times I had hurt others in my life. It started with a seemingly remote situation when I was a kid and came home late because I was out with friends, only to find my cat killing my favorite pet hamster (I could have stopped it if I was home! And now I can only see her looking into my eyes as her last breath left her…). I know that sounds stupid to some, but I feel terribly guilty about that.
Then there was the time I was 16 and yelled at my dad even though he was having an acute schizophrenic episode (talk about proving his delusions!); the time my mom came all the way to visit me in the middle of winter and I treated her curtly and was, well, kind of mean because I was chronically sleep-deprived…and she cried; When I was a teen and I didn’t look my grandmother in the eyes and tell her how much I loved her before she died because, well, I didn’t know she was going to die that day, but I was also so freaked out about seeing her so sick and frail, and my boyfriend was waiting outside, and I thought I could come back later…
I remembered the time I “wasted” while figuring all this relationship stuff out, like when in my 20s and 30s and I was so unclear about what I wanted that I made really bad relationship decisions and totally broke hearts – things that I seemingly could have avoided if I had known better.
I feel guilty that I didn’t figure out detoxing and superfoods, the evils of big agriculture and the beauty of organics sooner – thinking about how maybe I could have prevented my cancers altogether, or felt more vibrant during more of my life, or cooked my family healthier meals…
Why didn’t I keep up my yoga practice longer when I discovered it at 18 years old? Why didn’t I keep up my meditation practice earlier, even when I knew how much my time in Nepal and India had radically changed my worldviews and how I related with others (as early as 19 years old!)?
Ahhhhh! Stop it already!
The reality is, it wasn’t DESPITE these screw ups that I learned to live full-on. It was BECAUSE OF them. Had I not made these mistakes, I think I may not have moved with such earnest towards personal and spiritual growth.
In Buddhism there are 7 realms (BTW they have a Hell realm too). One of the realms is the God realm. Everything is awesome. Everyone is beautiful, there are flowers and shit everywhere (the cool kind of “shit”), food is scrumptuous, people are in perfect health and live a LONG time (like, a bazillion years), and they have the luxury of time to play music, do yoga, have sex, do whatever you want!
“Kind of like California,” one Tibetan Lama said to me.
There is no pain and suffering…until dying begins. Then, after millenia go by in bliss, things are all perfect and they’re sniffing their flowers and being like, “Oh, this smells sooooo good!” and then all of a sudden, the flower starts to smell off…the flower wilts. Its color fades. The leaves droop. Now it smells like moldy socks. Things around them start to decay (all things are impermanent, after all). Their bodies get old. They feel aches and pains…and this shizzle goes on for a hella long time because time is soooooooo drawn out for them. It really, really sucks because they are slowly, slowly dying – and dying is their first experience of suffering. It overwhelms them.
We all die, and for the people in the God realm, dying for them is even more excruciating – mentally and physically. This is because they have never experienced suffering before, and therefore it is that much more … devastating. It brings people in the God realms to their knees, and beyond.
The human realm is considered ideal because we have the ability to use our suffering for growth, and to be acutely aware of the different aspects of reality, to use our senses and our mental faculties to transcend our limited perspectives and experiences. There are other reasons, but I won’t go into an “Intro To Realms” course here.
Bottom line is: Sometimes I made some big mistakes that could have been prevented. I. Know. That.
They happened..we all have them. We also have to have compassion for ourselves. We are all doing the best we can in any given moment.
I have been graced with the experience of taking off the shit-colored glasses and seeing the beauty and possibility and absolutely creative miracle of this world with clearer vision.
The world looks much, much better without them on. And yes, as a result, I can now also clearly see where things could have been done differently before. AND..
I am not going to let myself feel regrets for those mistakes.
If I didn’t learn from them, if I didn’t grow, THEN they would be mistakes worth regretting. But now that I have been through the fire and risen from the ashes – again and again – I call them human mistakes.
I am sorry for anyone I hurt, any pain or suffering of another being that I could have helped to prevent. And I promise to never, ever do it again.
“Trying” not to do it again is bullshit, by the way. As Yoda says, “Do, or do not.There is no ‘try.’”
AND I will strive to improve the JOY, LOVE, and FREEDOM of all I come into contact with.
Deal? Can I stop feeling fucking guilty now? Alright already!
Now take off those shit-colored glasses and be happy. Really happy. You earned it, Badass!
Note: Ana Neff is a Freedom Junkie™, guide, and mentor. She helps passionate people awaken their lives of freedom, adventure and purpose through life, love, and wellness coaching. Her monthly ZijiUp!™ eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. Her “Full-On 365” blog posts catalog her year of commitment to living full-on, every day, for 365 days in a row. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting FreedomJunkie.com