The little known loveliness of discipline-by Danielle DeBray on 06/23/14
I have a saying that goes—“ The difference between an addict and a spiritual warrior is discipline.” Many people know what I mean, but many are also confused. I thought I would help clarify what is meant by the statement by discussing a little bit about what it doesn’t mean.
Often times, when the word discipline is heard, it somehow can imply a stringent or judgmental attitude. But, typically a true spiritual warrior won’t live in judgment. When a warrior is really disciplined regarding their own mental health, they will be too busy processing their own material to be concerned with judging another person’s emotional baggage. As warriors, we know that the key to the alignment with the Divine is through releasing our emotional baggage. Since emotional baggage keeps us from knowing the Truth of the Divine, warriors become highly motivated to clean emotional house!
Additionally, once a spiritual warrior begins the daunting and ceaseless task of cleaning one’s emotional house, opening doors and seeing the amount of emotional dust mice one collects over a life time, the question is begged –“how could I judge another for their imperfections when my house has the dust mice running around my emotional body that it has?” And, we can all be assured that as long as we are not walking on water, levitating, living in a perpetual state of bliss, whatever one’s faith holds as the epitome signature of holding the Divine’s vibration, we have issues. In other words, everyone on this planet has emotional issues that we are continuing to process and clear.
It is actually a fabulous thing to have issues or emotional baggage because it keeps us humble. I have been a counselor working my family of origin issues for over 20 years. I have a lot of therapy under my belt and a lot of experience, but I still sink when I hit the waters of Lake Washington. Because my bones are so big, they don’t even float well so I sink fast.
If we do not have few nicks in our emotional surface, how do we understand another's journey? We will just sail off the smoothness of our surface, thinking we "got it under control!" It's when we trip over a scratch that we didn't put on our emotional surface that enables us to have compassion for our friend who is also down on their smooth surface and smiling sweetly up at us after tripping over their own arrogance. It's then when we realize that maturity means having the grace to allow one's self and others to be clumsy, whether that is emotionally or physically.
And, this is where I think one can lose sight of how discipline is interpreted. A spiritual warrior is a path of the heart so how could one be cruelly implementing discipline if one follows such a path? Discipline does not have to be practiced using terror or intimidation. Discipline can be a practice that is self-defined as a rigorously kind act of self-care that enables oneself to be lavished in love. Wow! That sounds awful, huh??!!! A practice that would lavish one’s self in love?
When one is lavishing one’s self in love, it does not sound like-“Oh dang! How stupid! I didn’t do it right again! I didn’t exercise my practice in love!” Instead, the spiritual warrior on the path of the heart would say, “Huh! How interesting? It looks like I didn’t practice that exercise to love myself. I wonder why? I will see if maybe I could practice it in the next minute or tomorrow without self-recrimination because I know that if I could have done it already, I would have. I will establish that practice in the perfect minute for my heart at the perfect time even if I don’t know when that is.” Namaste