It happens often. Almost always. That she fails; when she is on her own. When she is not supported. When she does things on her own volition. And it always leaves a trail of pain…deep and inexorable pain in the father’s loving heart. The pain intensifies further upon the realization that he cannot directly change things for her, in her, about her. He feels helpless.
When supported, she is able to achieve, she is able to persist, and she is able to make it till the end. But that support is not always available. Nor does the supporter always have access to her.
And every time the failure hits her, she moves a bit towards accepting her weaknesses, or distractions. She shows remorse, and promises to learn from the failure, as she apparently moves towards a newer objective. And yet, the cycle repeats itself.
What does it mean to own up something? My acceptance that I goofed up, that I was inattentive; I did not exercise enough rigour, or did not give my best? The articulation and acceptance of a cause does not undo the effect it causes. And it is too weak to cause a fundamental shift in my thinking, in my engagement and in my actions. How can mere acceptance of a reality, however authentic and wholehearted it is, change a reality? It only brings certain peace to my mind, and I am able to sleep well at night, but that is all it achieves. Acceptance of reality is a necessary condition for change to happen, but it is definitely NOT, by any stretch of optimism, enough to BRING ABOUT change. Of course the acceptance frees the mind and leaves it with the energy much needed to enquire into the nature of the concerned elements, their inter-relationship and what can possibly cause a change.
So what would cause the change in me? What would, inescapably, bring it about?
Let me begin looking at how I am using the resources available to me- what am I doing with my attention, my time and talent?
‘I am not doing anything that is harmful. What I am doing is perfectly natural for a 20 year old modern girl – socializing, going around with someone I like, watching movies, exploring exciting places around me, and so on. Of course there is nothing ‘wrong’ in any of them. But then, do you do things because there is nothing ‘wrong’ in doing them? Then you could be doing every conceivable thing that is ‘not wrong’, that is ‘natural’ and you would be going round and round, never reaching where you have to go. It is not that you are doing anything ‘wrong’ but does that make it ‘right’ in the sense that it moves you towards your goal? Every moment that you spend in doing what is not directly taking you towards your goal, is a LOSS to the goal.
The ‘right action’ is defined in the context and the role you are in. It means you are giving every moment of your life, every iota of your attention and energy, every breath of your life to take you towards your goal. It is not just passively ‘moving along’ what comes your way, but actively, vigorously, persistently pursuing what you think will take you towards your goal. It is the simple, clean, inescapable truth of attaining what you aspire for.
Unless you breathe your goal in each breath of yours, unless you give every bit of yourself to it, however small or big the goal is, you don’t deserve it. You don’t own your goal; you earn it when you have voluntarily, yet choicelessly, given what it takes to earn it. Short-circuiting to get to it only makes you less deserving of it.