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A lesson in humility. October 6, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in Reiki, Reiki wisdom.
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“Life is a long lesson in humility.”

—James M. Barrie

This must have been especially true for Barrie, whose character Peter Pan never wanted to grow up, instead preferring to live in Neverland. “I know a place where dreams are born and time is never planned.” Sounds pretty idyllic to us overworked adults, of whom Barrie was one. (The movie “Finding Neverland” was an interesting biopic of Barrie, showing a far more complex character than the creator of cartoon classic Captain Hook.)

Far from never being planned, it seems like all our time is double- or triple-planned, resulting in stress and stress-related illnesses that arise inevitably when we’re continually asked to take on more, to multitask, until we know that actually completing all our tasks, much less completing them well, is an impossibility, and we’re sinking, sinking, while Captain Hook’s crocodile is waiting for us just below the surface. Now who will we say we are when we encounter a new acquaintance who asks what we do for a living and can’t say we’re the manager or executive or VP or whatever, just somebody who was laid off and is trying to scramble along? How quickly they look away, not knowing what to say! A lesson in humility.

If you’re a parent, now expected to accompany your kids to all the post-work activities they’re expected to attend and get meals on the table and take them to buy all the latest fashions and gadgets, the pressure builds even higher. And now they’re supposed to be overachievers, multitaskers from the day one. What if you’re caring for children or parents with disabilities, people you’ll be responsible for until your death or theirs, people you may be responsible for providing care for after your death? And what if someday you’re reduced to the nursing home, the adult diaper, and the wheelchair in the hall?

James Barrie probably wasn’t thinking of such dire situations when he said “Life is a long lesson in humility.” He was possibly thinking of getting bad reviews for his writing, or great beauties who were celebrated in their day fading to wrinkled (now Botoxed) parodies of their younger selves, or performers and athletes aging and no longer being able to do what was required of them. Now, they had to sit on the sidelines and watch while the next generation dazzled with their beauty or talent. And by the next generation, no one even remembered who they were. Films like “Stage Beauty,” TV series like “Game of Thrones,” and songs like Mark Knopfler’s “Punish the Monkey” all address this.

Well, isn’t it a great thing that Usui Founder gave those of us who follow the Reiki Way a method to turn the humiliating times of life into opportunities to strengthen our practice: the Five Reiki Principles (aka Precepts, Ideals). Every time we’re able to pass humiliation by, to see what we can learn from it, rather than to become enraged and set all our focus and strength on fighting it, “defeating” it, we take another step forward in defeating our ego, the “I,” and coming closer to merging with the All. This is the secret of attaining enlightenment, satori, anshin ritsumei.

“Life is a long lesson in humility.” Things change. It’s up to you to decide whether that change is for better or worse.

Just for today, embrace the change.

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