It Is Okay To Stumble
There is a thought in people’s mind that once they start out on the spiritual path, they have to tread the straight and narrow. If they don’t, then things could work out badly for them. This is the resistance that the mind throws up to protect its own turf on control over the physical body. Where body consciousness predominates the mind and the ego are in charge, they are in no way going to let go of their control so easily.
The good news is that it is absolutely alright to be flawed. As the saying goes, nobody is perfect, everyone has his/her own idiosyncrasies and eccentricities. That is what makes each individual on this planet so unique. Flaws and limitations are woven through our lives. We are all stumblers, and the beauty and meaning of life are in the stumbling — in recognising the stumbling and trying to maintain balance while we become more graceful as the years go by.
The stumbler literally stumbles through life, a little off balance here and there, sometimes lurching, sometimes falling; but the stumbler is honest and faces one’s imperfect nature, mistakes and weaknesses with completely unvarnished honesty. Such a person feels ashamed of the perversities in his/her nature — the selfishness, the self-deceit, the occasional desire to put lower-level loves above the higher ones.
A panacea is that humility offers self-understanding. When we acknowledge that we have screwed up, and recognise and feel the gravity of our limitations, we find ourselves challenged and stretched with a serious enemy — our ego — to overcome and transcend.
When the stumbler faces each fall with courage and overcomes them, then he/she is made whole by the struggle. Each weakness becomes a battle to be won and overcome and this gives meaning to life, a greater understanding of life is the result, thus making one a better person. When we sit down to meditate as a group, we lean on each other as we struggle to establish ourselves in the spiritual sphere, the collective energy balances and stabilises us.
There’s a joy in a life filled with interdependence with others, in a life filled with gratitude, reverence and admiration. There’s joy in freely chosen obedience to people, ideas and commitments greater than oneself. There’s a kind of aesthetic joy that we feel in morally good action, which makes all other joys seem insignificant and easy to forsake.
People do get better at living, at least if we are willing to humble ourselves and learn. When we meditate and learn to live in awareness this process gets automated. Thus, it is best to meditate and turn inwards — the inner is far more beautiful than the outer.