Are You Choosing to Have Problems?
Sutra 1.6: There are five Vrtti’s which are right knowledge, inaccurate knowledge, imagination, deep sleep and memory.
Sutra 1.7: The sources of right knowledge are: direct perception, inference, and scriptural testimony.
How do we KNOW we know? How do we KNOW we DON’T know? How do we determine an original Rolex from a counterfeit? How do we navigate our way through seventy-five GOOGLE pages just to figure out what protein powder is LEGIT and not chalk full of chemicals? We live in a world of INFORMATION OVERLOAD with SO many brands and products taking advantage of our pain points. Did you ever stand in Target in a state of TOTAL OVERWHELM because there are twenty plus different kinds of nut butters….let’s just say you’re into peanut butter, well, you’ve got your JIF and your Skippy, Peter Pan and Reece’s, Planter’s and Smart Balance. Now, if that wasn’t ENOUGH, you’ve still got to decide between crunchy, chunky, super chunky, creamy, and whipped. In all of this confusion your eyes wonder just slightly to the right and YUP, there is NOW peanut butter powder! So your eyes traverse even further down the aisle to the almond butter, cashew butter, and sunflower butter. You have been swept right down the peanut butter rabbit hole! Twenty minutes have passed and you haven’t put ONE thing in your basket.
If we can’t figure out what peanut butter to buy, HOW are we supposed to figure out who we are?!?
And maybe we hit the nail on the head here, the peanut butter aisle is a VERY clear example of what we do in our lives to AVOID the UNCOMFORTABLE work of: LOOKING AT OURSELVES and the WAYS THAT OUR THOUGHTS SHAPE OUR LIVES. It is much, MUCH easier to get wrapped up in my disagreement with Mary, my lust for Jimmy, if I am going to buy the Mac Book Pro or the Mac Air…than it is to sit quietly, and observe myself. It is ANNOYINGLY convenient to involve myself in the office drama, my friend’s divorce, or anything else I can find to complain about…than to ACTUALLY pinpoint what re-occuring thoughts and behaviors are CAUSING my own misery.
WHY? Because then I HAVE to face all of the UNTRUTHS that have kept me SAFE and COMFORTABLE and MEDIOCRE for my whole life.
On some level we AGREE to have the problems we have because they are serving us in one way or another. This service is, of course, distorted. My coach gives the example of weight…she says, “it is such a GREAT problem to have, because as long as you DON’T lose weight, you DON’T have to do the thing that you keep saying you are going to do AFTER you lose the weight.”
So long and short of it, how do we know we know? We don’t. We don’t know what we don’t know. And what if that could be ok? What if we just picked the peanut butter that seems like it would serve us the best and test it out. The beautiful thing about life is that it will clearly show us if our choice was helpful OR…not so much.
So for our peanut butter example’s sake, let’s just say we choose the SUPER CHUNKY JIF. After three weeks of JIFF, we have put on a few pounds and are getting headaches, it would seem quite OBVIOUS to switch peanut butters, maybe try the raw organic kind with no sugar. But NOW we are hooked on the JIF. It has become part of our day, our lunchtime routine, and essentially, who we THINK that we are. For, WHO WOULD WE BE without JIF?! JiF ‘jiffed' its way right into our belief system and the result is…. not so ‘JIFFY.’
Essentially, I am asking: “who are you without your husband or wife or dog or job or degree or social status or Mercedes Benz or your hair and your makeup??”
Your willingness to try NEW peanut butters OR be CRAZY BOLD and switch it up to almond butter is the SAME as your willingness to allow the DIRECT EXPERIENCE of life to SHOW YOU THE WAY. The universe is ALWAYS guiding us, BUT we are often too stubborn or stuck in the peanut butter aisle, nose buried in labels, to realize that JIF STIFFED us into believing we NEED to choose a peanut butter at all, when in fact, we could have hummus and carrots.
Maybe the REAL choice is choosing to walk OUT of the Super Market and spend our precious moments LIVING rather than THINKING about Peanut Butter.
Thank you so very much for your engagement. Start to notice what you may be making important, that’s not really important, where you might be misplacing your attention so as to avoid changing. Allow the peanut butter metaphor to serve as your reminder NOT to “JIF” yourself out of the life you deserve!