Yesterday something came through my Facebook feed that interested me. That hardly ever happens so I am writing about it. It was one of those things that are all over Facebook, called “Your e-cards” from “someecards.com.” It’s usually a black and white image of a person on a colored background with a snarky comment beside the person. This one said:
“Sometimes I hate it when people give me encouragement. I feel like saying ‘Shut up! I know I can do it, I just don’t want to.'”
Even though I am not completely sold on this idea that “I can do anything I want to do, anything is possible,” I agreed with this sentiment behind it, aggressively. I believe that karma dictates what is in fact possible for each one of us. But even if karma makes something possible, yeah, that doesn’t mean one should do it.
Self-limiting? Defeatist? No not really. We all come with different tendencies, different drives. Different dharmas. Lord Krishna lifted Govardhana Hill up over his head. Does that mean I can go outside and lift my apartment building over my head? Suppose I could if it were completely necessary in order to maintain dharma on Earth as was the case with Krishna’s feat. But as it is, I really don’t feel like trying to do so. It would take a lot of time and effort and a drastic change in my eating habits to make this possible. And, I’d probably end up doing it just to show off, because, as I said, it would very likely not be done in order to maintain dharma for mankind. But hey, you never know, right?
But let me get serious. People tend to look at someone who professes a particular belief system and think that they can automatically accomplish anything they set out to do. And if they don’t succeed, then it reflects either on the strength of their faith or whatever they want to call it, or it reflects on the validity of that belief system itself. Neither scenario is fair. It would be like judging a Christian in their faith based on the percentage of that person’s prayers that are answered. Because dharma is not about “getting”. It is about knowing. And knowing by experience. And I think Christianity, at its very core is the same.
I get annoyed when someone says that I am limiting myself when I don’t make the effort to do certain things. You get that a lot being in a wheelchair, trust me. Everyone wants to make sure I am not “limiting myself”. I am not. I just increasingly understand my personal dharma. And I suspect, whether a person follows a dharmic religion or not, as they move along in this world, they too become more and more aware of what they are here for. As such, I think most of us tend to cut out the extraneous effort on things that simply are not a part of that “dharma” whether we call it that or not.
But before I get too far off, let me get back to the original inspiration for this posting. The Facebook poster said “I can, I just don’t want to.” All of us come with a dharma, a calling, if you will. Some of us pursue them and success comes easily for our having followed the natural flow of things. But we always have a choice to fully pursue them or not.
Let’s say, for example you come into this life with a predisposition toward any particular bad habit. One of your dharmas may be to squash said habit. But you can choose to cultivate opposite, positive habits, or you can choose to continue in the trajectory upon which you sprung into this life. Sometimes we decide that we want to work on one thing, and let another thing carry over into another life. “I’ll deal with that in the next life!” Not an attitude I’d recommend, but it happens.