What If You Stopped Being Yourself? (Part 2)

Written by Chris Cade on . Posted in Spiritual Development

ThistleIn my last blog post, I shared how when faced with a dilemma regarding my appearance and my Inner Critic, I chose an unconventional path. Instead of choosing Options 1 or 2, I chose Option 3. The obvious Option 3 would be to walk into a nearby store, purchase a new pair of pants, put them on, and continue with my day. Had I been going someplace else, it's possible I'd have chosen that option. It's reasonable.
 
For the purposes of my inner growth and development though, that option would have been no different than Option 1. Simply buying a new pair of pants would have been the spiritual equivalent of overmedicating myself with the lies about positive thinking. Buying my way out of the situation would have been a metaphorical band-aid.

Not to say that's the wrong choice. Not at all. It's just not one that would have challenged me to explore my inner terrain further. It wouldn't have given me the opportunity to deepen my personal transformation.

Another reasonable option would be to pause and sew up the whole (if I had a needle and thread with me). That's also a reasonable option. If I pressed for time, that option would have challenged me to explore my inner relationship with time. I don't carry around a needle and thread in my wallet though. There are other options which have varying degrees of impact on our spiritual development.
 
For me though, the choice was obvious. I reached towards the back of my pants, found the hole…

And made it much MUCH larger. :)

It was an opportunity to answer a very simple question: If I make my situation more extreme, will my Inner Critic also get a little more vocal?

One of the best ways I know to deepen my spiritual transformation is to explore extreme situations (whenever it's safe to do so). Extreme situations pull us out of the familiar "Who I take myself to be" identity and give us an opportunity to become "somebody else." Not literally. Figuratively though, we get to explore the answer to my question "What if I stopped being myself?"

A few years ago, tearing my pants into a larger hole is something I'd have never done. My fears would have overwhelmed and incapacitated me. I'd probably have turned around and gone home. Not this day though. What I discovered was interesting. In addition to not caring about the hole at all, I had an unexpected experience: joy and delight.

Although my Inner Critic didn't have an opinion, my True Nature was clear:

Stepping outside my comfort zone…

Choosing to not be "myself" for a little while…
 
Brought me a sense of profound freedom.



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