"Don't let the obstacle get in the way of going for your intention," this was said to me a few weeks ago. I have ruminated on it ever since. Yes, it was said within the confines of an acting class. Nevertheless, I recognize it to be true in my own life. I have often permitted the obstacle to get in the way of my intention.
I use the word "permitted" intentionally. I permit. I allow. I, in a way, welcome the obstacle to stop me from what I intend. It can't stop me, without my permission. I can only really stop myself. The inverse is true too. I, alone, can give myself the permission to keep going. To be honest, I don't really love the word permission. Alternative word choices would be: consent (important in any intimate interactions), authorization (important in any political interactions), sanction, license, assent, approval, and blessing. I appreciate the last two, approval and blessing, so ... I, alone, can give myself the approval and blessing to keep going.
Last January, I engaged in a battle. I had been denied something very important to me. It was a dead end. I was expected to suck it up and take my losses. I did not. I felt I had been unjustly denied. I fought, even though I prayed, cried, and most of my phone calls and messages were ignored. Finally, someone agreed to hear me out. Thankfully, I had come to terms with the decision and now just felt I needed to be heard; my anger had subsided and I retained a sense of humor about it all. This person, was kind, gracious, and confused by the decision rendered. She over-ruled the "final" decision, and granted me what I was seeking. I realized then that a no is not always a no.
I tell that story, albeit cryptically, because it is not in my nature to fight for my intention. I often view the obstacles as "signs" to not go for what I want. There's this inherent belief that it must not be meant for me, if it's not easy. If the world around you isn't cheering you on, then you should give up, collapse, and turtle away. I, with honesty, crave approval. I am a card carrying people pleaser who appreciates the applause of others.
Craving outside approval is wanting a cheering section when you feel like you're being somewhat brave. What if, to your deepest core, you want others to give you the permission to keep going because that feels more legitimate. Outside approval means that we "deserve" what we get, and validates who we are and what we want. Isn't outside approval what stops us from delusions? We have all watched those horrible auditions for reality TV where the person believes they are a great singer or dancer, but the reality is they suck. The judges words, "Maybe you should look to another profession", or "what else do you love to do?" can't dissuade them from their intention to become the next Beyoncé. Although talent may keep them from achieving that goal, but then perhaps not, as we all know of less than talented entertainers "living the dream." Possibly, and this is my hypothesis, a little delusion is the key. Outside consent is lovely but we need a wee bit of delusion to keep going.
"Confidence is 10% hard work and 90% delusion". An amazing quote by one ballsy woman. Tina Fey, head writer of a comedy show traditionally run by men. Tina Fey, an actor who is talented and beautiful, in spite of the large scar on her lovely face. Perhaps delusion is the thing that keeps us resilient in our intention. Especially if and when we are told we're "too" anything. "Look, you've got the talent, but you're too fat.... too old... too big.... too small.... too nice.... too, too, too...." Why does that "too" label feel like the truth? "Too - anything - ness" is a way to keep us small, and pliable. I don't want to be small or pliable. I want to be present and teachable.
The "too-ness" of anything is, maybe, the true obstacle. "Too-ness" feels like truth, and is meant to keep us small. "Too-ness" wants us to give up and be nice. "Too-ness" makes us look at others and compare ourselves or our situations. "Too-ness" makes us eat too much, diet too much, watch too much tv, busy ourselves, or put off the thing that scares us. "Too-ness" is a distraction from our true power. The power needed to keep going. "Too-ness" is a formidable adversary because it screws with our heads.
So if we have an intention, but we are struck down by a "too-ness" adversary, and the adversary feels more true than the tiny spark inside us. I am suggesting we pull out a bit of delusion. The delusion needed to believe that picking myself off the floor, forging forward to slay the beast with my pathetic broken sword could be enough to overcome. This does not mean I don't believe in hard work, and talent... because both of those are needed to know, deep down, what our rightful place is. A spark of belly fire that only talent and effort can light, but they aren't enough for some. Perhaps, delusion could be a tool to forge ahead, especially when our cheering section is silent. Delusion, for those of us weighted down with the reality of "too-ness" can be enough to pick ourselves back up, take a breath, and ignite that tiny spark deep down that no one sees, but only we can feel.