🔘 Daily Notes .4 - Maybe it can even be yourself
Mingyur Rinpoche & Hilma af Klint
🔘 Daily Notes chronicles my unedited thoughts at the moment, from day to day. This series will end at 1.0, or 10 total posts 🍵
"You must learn to ignore your fear—for without the will to believe yourself, nothing good will happen."
- Hilma af Klint
There is a phrase in Tibetan that explains when you’re struggling, and the struggle is like a fire about to burn you, go ahead and add a few more logs. It’s called “adding wood to the fire.”
I used to be a pretty stubborn person, with specific views based on things I studied and practiced, that created an idea of what I thought was right. Basically, an overall righteous outlook on the world, where I thought I knew what was true and what wasn’t.
I would have never gotten anywhere if I hadn’t grown up a little. In the end, I realized that my stubbornness was coming from trauma anyway. Trauma that made me want to control stuff and was based on negativity. Protecting something that hurt me—what a convoluted reason to be stubborn.
Unfortunately it’s complicated how this all came to be, and how I got over it at last. Maybe I’ll write it down sometime, so that others might learn something from it. But for now I just want to say that adding wood to the fire when you’re really scared and don’t know what to do is something everyone ought to try. Because pushing up against something you’re afraid of often means that you’re about to break into what you need to learn.
I’m not giving advice, but I can say that if I hadn’t put myself in shitty situations (accidentally, for the most part) again and again, I’d never have figured out how to get out of the issue of thinking I knew something about the world. That’s why the theme of this note is fear. Because fear is really what kept me there all along.
If you’re afraid of something, who is left to blame? It comes down to how you relate to what you’re afraid of. Since no one can make you unafraid, it’s actually up to you to deal with the fear. Imagine the fire as what you’re afraid of, and the wood as what would make it more frightening. So the only way to stop is to look into the fire, and maybe add a few twigs here and there. Sometimes a whole log. Basically as much as you can take.
And what if the fire, the fear, adversity, pain, whatever—what if it destroys you? What if you lose the thing you were trying to protect the most? Maybe that means that you can actually build something worthwhile, rather than something you just held onto because it was comfortable.
In the end though, this is just what I’ve gone about doing basically by accident, and by writing this, on my 4th note in this series of 10, all I’m doing is reflecting on a somewhat strange and unexpected process. I don’t really know if anyone else should do what I just described, or when, or how.
But, I do think the quote I started with matters. You have to learn to ignore your fear to an extent. Fear is a state of disbelief. The opposite of fear is to believe something.
Maybe it can even be yourself.
🎧 What I’m Jamming To