Coming clean

Coming clean
Having written this blog for several years now, I feel compelled to come clean.

Coming clean, for me, is exposing my deepest vulnerabilities and struggles. And while Bhante Sujatha has always taught me that there are no struggles in Buddhism, I clearly see that I have not yet arrived at that revelation. Because I do indeed struggle on a daily basis.

A huge vulnerability for me is a desire for acceptance and for people around me to be happy. Bhikkhuni Vimala often called me on this issue, explaining to me that I was a “fixer”. I continue to make so many things mine that are not. And while I understand that this is not mindful or beneficial to me or anyone else, I seem to continue to do this. Often reminding myself – this is not me, this is not mine, and this not the self. Perfect words that I attempt to apply to an imperfect being.

Those words convey a dropping of the ego, which I clearly have not yet accomplished. In fact, as often as I write about humility and ego, mine is as dominant as anyone I know. Being completely transparent, I think that it’s always about me. Selflessness and service to others is wonderful, but I am increasingly aware that it always subconsciously fills my own need to feel good about myself. It supports my “fixer” personality.

I think that all of my weaknesses and frailty stem from a substandard love and acceptance of self. Which leaves a never-ending need to feed my ego and support a sense of self-worth. Not a pretty thing to observe!

All of this may sound like a pity party, but truly is not. It’s merely a public confession, and cleansing of sorts. I do not want to hide behind a veneer of any kind. My personal growth depends on my ability to face this life naked, exposed and vulnerable. And so long as I wear any kind of mask, I will be looking in the mirror at the very same delusion that I show the World around me.

After so many years of practice and study, it’s clear that there is still so much work to be done. And I am so very grateful that I still have today to work on it.

While this is certainly not a complete list of my imperfections, it is certainly a critical foundation to build upon. And it is with this determination that I move forward with perhaps slightly more acceptance of myself and a little less attachment to that very same delusion.