|Photo by David Ralph Johnson|
Pema Chodron, in her book Start Where You Are, has a chapter entitled – Abandon Any Hope of Fruition. It touches on the subject of hope, and how when it’s misused can become an obstacle to living in the present moment. The understanding is that as long as we are continually wishing or “hoping” for things to change, they never will. As long as we have an orientation toward the future, we can never just relax and enjoy what we already have. The unspoken deal we make with ourselves is that once we “get there” - then we will be happy. The problem is…we never arrive.
“One of our deepest habitual patterns that we have is to feel that we are never good enough. We think back to the past a lot, which maybe was better than now, or perhaps worse. We also think ahead quite a bit to the future – which we may fear – always holding out our hope that in might be a little bit better thank now. Even if now is going really well – we have good health and we’ve met the person of our dreams, or we just had a child or got the job we wanted – nevertheless there’s a deep tendency always to think about how it’s going to be later. We don’t quite give ourselves full credit for who we are in the present moment.”
By letting go of our hope of “fruition” we give up the idea that at some future time we will feel good. Instead, we enter into an unconditional relationship with ourselves, having an open heart and an open mind to whatever is – and whatever “is”, is what’s right here, right now.
There is often a misunderstanding in the teachings of Buddhism. The Buddha is not someone to be worshipped. Buddha simply means “awake”. When talking about the “Buddha in you”, one is simply talking about our inherent nature – or Buddha nature – and what that implies is that everything you need, you already have! By loving ourselves unconditionally, we slowly uncover or awaken what is already there, instead of shielding it, protecting it or keeping it buried out of fear.
Being afraid, feeling angry, feeling impatient, feeling jealous, feeling depressed – these are all part of who we are. They are as much a part of our nature as joy and compassion are. Entering into an unconditional relationship with ourselves means that we agree to no longer run from ourselves. Because in reality, no matter how hard we try – wherever we go, there we are! The beauty of this for me is that once we understand this, there is no more categorizing my feelings into “right” and “wrong”. This leaves no room for guilt – and we can all use a little less of that in our days! Our feelings are simply that - just our feelings.
The dictionary states that the meaning of fruition is “The enjoyment of something attained or realized. The state of bearing fruit.” Unlike the beautiful fruit in the photo my husband took this weekend, there is no waiting for the perfect moment of ripening within us. Who we are in this moment is exactly who we are supposed to be – whether afraid, insecure, jealous, lonely, confident, joyful or compassionate –“It’s all juicy stuff!”