One of the most difficult spiritual lessons to learn is about “choosing to believe.” In Tales of Power, don Juan taught Carlos Castaneda that a warrior chooses to believe. According to this teaching, a warrior goddess is capable of holding all possibilities in her mind at once, then choosing one to believe and acting as if it were true. He also taught that a warrior goddess lets go of attachment to outcome. All outcomes are equal for a warrior goddess.
For someone who is not yet a warrior, or who has just stepped on the path, this paradox can be mind-bending. How do I choose to believe in a specific outcome and act as if it’s true and at the same time let go of my attachment to that outcome? It sounds like a contradiction.
I think of it sort of like a bell curve with the chosen outcome at the top and all other possibilities as a range, like a bell-curved spectrum.
The reason why this seems to work best for me is because I can hold in mind my ideal or “chosen” outcome and move toward it, believing in it, and acting as if it’s true, while at the same time, entertaining other possibilities, especially the ones closest to my ideal outcome on the bell curve.
Don Juan taught Carlos Castaneda in The Fire From Within that self-importance is our greatest enemy. What weakens a warrior goddess is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellow men. Self-importance requires that one spend most of one’s life being offended by something or someone.
I’ve been noticing lately my sensitivity to what other people think of me and how they feel about me. This is partly because of my training in nonviolent communication.
It’s good to be sensitive and empathetic to the experience of others, but we must not give our power away to that and become “people-pleasers.” A people-pleaser has an “external locus of control” rather than an “internal locus of control,” which means giving one’s power away to those things that are external to us, instead of keeping our power within ourselves.
The problem with giving one’s power away to something or someone external is that we can never actually please them, especially if it isn’t what we really want to do. Instead we betray our own authentic selves. We put ourselves into a position of having to submit or rebel.
Why not be true to yourself? You are not so important that other people will crumble without you there to give them what they think they want. And in truth, do you think what they really want is your big fat lie?