There are times when I’m just not strong enough to be the person I want to be. Maybe there’s a bully I want to confront or social standard I want to hold myself to and I just can’t bring myself to do it. In the past when this happened I felt like a failure because I was either letting myself down or the people around me down, but I new perspective is coming to the surface.
Instead of beating myself up, I just accept that my dhamma muscles aren’t strong enough yet. I’m realizing that sitting two hours a day isn’t just about purifying the mind. It’s about growing stronger day by day so I can eventually take on the larger challenges in my world. Just like building physical muscles I can’t expect to leap from bench pressing 120 lbs to 250 lbs in one day, but if I work out regularly for a number of years I’m bound to reach 250 lbs one day.
There’s no reason to beat myself up because I can’t currently bench 250 lbs because it’s a physical impossibility. In the same way I shouldn’t beat myself for falling short of my dhamma goals. Instead, I can take comfort that if I continue to meditate regularly there will come a time when I can live up to a higher standard. The key is to continue working hard without giving up. Time to pump some iron! … oops, I mean … Time to meditate.