Recently, I have been looking under my hood at the rumblings I hear when my mind thinks I’m otherwise occupied.
I’m happy to report that everything seems to be in good working order.
No ugly, leaky parts.
Connections tight and loose as appropriate.
Looks like the nightly hot tub jaunts are paying off and keeping the shiny bits shiny.
That’s all good!
However, I did find motion which caught me unaware: doubt, doubt in me.
Especially with a forward slant.
Like what’s in my future?
The kind of doubt which if not headed off at the pass can hold up all kinds of comings and goings.
Doubt can be sneaky.
Doubt can masquerade as legitimate concern.
Left on its own, doubt becomes habit and sets itself up in the heart as if it’s necessary and wanted.
I shook my finger at that doubt as it tried to justify its existence in my life.
It actually had the audacity to suggest I would be in dire trouble without it!
Get over yourself! I fumed.
And that doubt shrunk back.
In the tiny place which opened before me I saw the doubt for what it really is.
I saw the doubt of my future, the doubt that anything good will show up for me.
The doubt life can’t, won’t offer up what I want.
No wonder I had been second-guessing myself and questioning possibility.
I’d been dealing with general life-sucks-why-bother thorns stuck on the back of my shiny bits like tarnish on the silver.
I looked at the doubt and said in my best firm Mom voice, “Get out! Now! Out!”
The doubt slunk out, toes dragging, head down, trying its best to make me feel guilty and relent.
But no! I’m done! I’m absolutely positive. Done!
However, I realized an empty space remained which needed my attention especially to make certain there was no room for anything so insidious to sneak in.
What does one do to replace doubt? I pondered a bit and hit with a novel-to-me idea.
Look at the benefits.
You know: the benefit of the doubt!
Here’s how this is good.
I saw the doubt.
I didn’t deny or argue or complain.
I simply asked it to move on. It did, leaving an empty space.
That’s the benefit: a space I can consciously fill.
And I know with what — this question:
What wonderful is going to show up for me?
The benefit of the doubt was space for me to acknowledge my eagerness to meet the unknown, and the unexpected, and the I-love-life-and-I-can’t-wait-to-meet-my-wonderful-future outlook.
Doubt tries so hard to make you feel like this life is not your own and that wonderful is off the menu.
Doubt kicks at dreams, laughs at desire, and sucker punches when you take a moment to think about your wants.
Doubt is all about no, can’t, never, and I’m no good.
My advice: ask your doubt to hit the road, now!
Take advantage of the empty and fill with benefit.
What wonderful will show up for you?
For a deep dive, begin with What is Spiritual Practice?