What makes someone a master is not that he or she possesses some unattainable skill, but that these individuals have first realized the existence of, and then made contact with, a world above them that wants to pour its more perfected understanding into their own.
Question: I play a difficult musical instrument to master, but I have a wonderful teacher, known all over the world. He has corrected me many times, and yet as I continue to practice, these supposed corrections still come out wrong… as well as my anger towards myself for failing to learn! What am I missing here; why do I continue to fail?
Answer: Our challenge in life is to be the best it is possible for us to be, which is the same as working to be the most awake human being that we can be in the moment. This “best possible” is not a skill, not a creative gift, not even a strength; it is our wish to live in the present moment, in the light of truth, and to give ourselves over to that living Presence to the best of our ability. If we do this… truly acting on the truths that we know as fully as we can… we succeed in life, regardless of the outcome, and regardless of what others think of us. No one holds the key to your heart and mind. Which means that anything or anyone that is troubling you — from a miss-struck string on an instrument to your own sour note for having made a mistake — is because you have forgotten your right to give yourself to what is your choosing.
You cannot make tomorrow into anything brighter or better than your potential to be present to yourself in the moment — present to any fears that are trying to convince you to take actions about tomorrow.
If you plant a fear seed you grow a fear tree. Our worries about our tomorrows have nothing whatsoever to do with the way we excuse ourselves for them. You could be the most passionate man or woman in the world about your tomorrow. You could have the greatest expectations in the universe for success and excellence in the moment to come. That wish, that longing, that natural aptitude we have to want to be excellent beings has nothing whatsoever to do with the tomorrows that we envision — where something has gone wrong and that’s why we have to protect ourselves in the present moment. Real excellence in a human being never protects itself; it’s always fulfilling its own potential by catching the fear that would drive it to what it calls perfection.
Any person who punishes themselves out of the belief that “everything that isn’t planned for tomorrow is a punishment for me” is living with a false responsibility. The true responsibility is to be actively present. A man or woman learns to be passionate about the moment because they’re present to it. They’re patient in the moment and they recognize that the moment is the seed. Tomorrow is not what matters. What matters is my attention to where we are and what we are and what’s moving through us right now.
You master something because you work at it in steps; and as you work at it, you recognize that you’ve taken yourself as far as you can take yourself with the possibilities that are present to you. Then what?
Now, when it comes to most human beings — in that moment when they discover they’ve reached the limit of their present possibilities — most quit right there, saying: “Well, that’s all there is.”
But, when individuals have a love for something, and they run into a natural and necessary limitation given their present level of development, they don’t say, “That’s as far as there is to go.” That person understands — because he or she can feel it living within them — that something still greater exists. They just have to wait for it to come to them. And they work! They work with their limitation, not their excellence. They work through what they don’t know — not trying to prove over and over again what they do know — because they’re agreeing to allow the principles, the perfection, the powers from the world above them to come into them, educate them, and ultimately elevate them.