I have to confess that I find it incredibly amusing when someone begins fretting over finding one of the 3M’s- mistakes, monsters, and mayhem- suddenly blocking their perfect path to spiritual bliss. No, I’m not a sadist nor experiencing feelings of schadenfreude. I only laugh because I know that the ‘perfect’ path isn’t… perfect, that is. Nor is it necessarily a constant flow of bliss. No, it can be gritty, brutal, and punishing at times. IMHO, that’s not such a bad thing, either.
Give yourself permission to make Mistakes with a capital M and then give yourself permission to get over them as quickly as they happened. No one is perfect… except perhaps the Gods (and the jury is still deliberating on that point, thank you very much). We will make mistakes as we try to find our way to our spiritual selves. Prayers may not be said as intended, ritual work may not be performed quite as intended, offerings may not please as much as we’d hoped. For me, mistakes are not failures, but opportunities to learn. While making mistakes cause discomfort and doubt, our mistakes are rarely fatal, and when they are, well now, you’ve got a whole other set of issues to take your mind off the mistake, don’t you?
Be kind to Monsters- they have feelings too. There are dark things that lurk in closets and under beds but darker still are the monsters that lurk within our own psyches. There seems to be a general trend to either deny or deeply closet our own personal monsters. For most people, I think it’s just too painful, uncomfortable, or scary to face those things in ourselves which we fear or abhor. Yet, like Mistakes, our Monsters can be our teachers. They can help us to better understand ourselves. Monsters, when properly cared for and fed, can actually become allies on our spiritual journeys, helping us to learn to overcome our own fears and to stand unafraid when new and more menacing monsters appear.
Into every life a little chaos will fall. One minute, you may be, like I am now, in calm, relaxing space, contentedly drinking tea and listening to ambient music while you do work that makes your heart sing. Five minutes from now, everything that you know and love could be tossed to the winds and your life turned into the equivalent of a humongous snow globe, well shaken with no clear direction in sight. And that’s OK too. We don’t learn about our true strength, courage, or ability to survive when immersed in moments of calm contentment. Mayhem is the classroom in which those lessons are taught. Chaos teaches us to find reserves of inner strength and to search for calm places within ourselves.
Our greatest teachers – in matters both mundane and spiritual- are not the ones who coddle us or who allow us to slip into a state of ignorant and stagnant bliss. The best teachers are those who force us outside of our comfort zones, who test our limits, and who teach the hardest lessons. If we’re willing to open ourselves to those lessons, the 3M’s can be seen, not as an obstacle in our path, but as something to scale so that we may get a better view of this crazy existence of ours.