Have you ever looked for something only to find out it was right in front of you the whole time? It amazes me how things can be so elusive, yet so obvious.
I had yet another example of this phenomenon when a friend was helping me with the manuscript of my book. I have looked through this manuscript numerous times, yet there it was, in plain view, several obvious errors that I missed. Tsk, tsk.
I don’t beat myself up too much about this. They always say that authors skim past their own mistakes because they know what they intended to say. It’s always best to seek the help of a seasoned editor or proofreader.
I thought (albeit briefly) that wouldn’t it be nice to have someone in our lives to help point out our errors so we wouldn’t make mistakes? Then reality hit. This is exactly what mothers, fathers, children, bosses and spouses do – and usually with annoying results.
The truth of the matter is it is hard to be objective regarding our own foibles. However, I have found that while illusions of grandeur and omnipotence can be found in the political scene and corporate America, the opposite is more likely to be true of us common folk.
The following is an excerpt from Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within.
While many people become selfish tyrants in their lust for fame and fortune, others suffer from another malady – fear of success. People who have this mindset often suffer from low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness. When success is in sight, they (often unwittingly) sabotage their own efforts. This scenario is perfectly illustrated in a passage in Marianne Williamson’s poem, where she notes that our greatest fear is not in our inadequacies, but in recognizing our own power.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Reprinted with permission: (A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles", Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3).
Nichiren Daishonin, a Buddhist priest and founder of Nichiren Buddhism cited the difficulty in seeing our divine nature in this famous writing: “We ordinary people can see neither our own eyelashes, which are so close, nor the heavens in the distance. Likewise, we do not see that the Buddha exists in our own hearts.”
I am on a constant quest to become a better person. Sometimes my life is full of “typos” and I try to take a look at how I can improve. Other times I want to put my hands to my ears and sing “La, la, la” every time someone (usually my spouse) offers some unsolicited advice on how I can be a better person.
The point is, we are neither perfect, nor complete failures. While it is important to find ways to live happier, healthier and more compassionate lives, we need to keep the proper perspective and appreciate the many wonderful attributes we possess and the beautiful life we have created.
I may need an editor to help me spot my typos, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t write. The same is true in life. We can use obstacles as an excuse to give up, or as a catalyst to become stronger.
I think Albert Einstein said it best. “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
With a shift to a more optimistic attitude and the passion to manifest positive changes in your life, you will discover the tools you need have been in front of you all along. It sounds simple, but of course it’s not. It’s like the analogy of the eyelashes, or typos in our own writing. Sometimes the most obvious thing in front of us is the most difficult thing to see.