A Muslim friend once translated the adhan, or Call to Prayer as: “Come to prayer! Come to your success!” It has stayed with me for many years, this concept that making the effort to show up to practice opens the way to success. Not only have we shown up to ourselves, but the sacred has a chance to show up for us as well.
When are we not showing up? When are we avoiding our success? We aren’t late to meet friends for dinner, so why do we put off working on our novel? We aren’t late to our jobs, so why do we not get out of bed when it’s time to meditate?
When we don’t show up for ourselves when we have said we would,not only do we undermine our will and good intentions, we are treating ourselves with disrespect. We are not answering the calling of our hearts.
Do you respect yourself enough to show up when you say you will? Do you respect yourself enough to put in the time needed to finish your big project? Do you respect yourself enough to dedicate effort to your physical health? Do you respect yourself enough to slow down inside and pray, or study, or practice? I’ve said it hundreds of times: If you don’t commit to yourself, who will?
If we don’t commit to ourselves, how do we expect to “create the change we want to see in the world”?
What stops us? Fear. Inertia. Resistance. Habit. Disbelief.
What motivates us? Love. Interest. Engagement. Hope. The wish to turn from sickness toward greater health. Finally growing tired of our own excuses. Love and interest are the powers that will keep us motivated even after the energy from initial reactive states of feeling fed up passes. So then, we are left with this:
Can you love yourself enough to show up for yourself? Are you interested enough in your life to commit fully?
Will you treat yourself with enough respect to take on the teaching discipline brings? Will you get out of bed? Will you go for a run? Will you set time aside and work on: your novel, your painting, your garden, your spiritual practice…?
Really, we are all out of excuses, and they weren’t very interesting to start with, so we may as well begin to lead the lives we desire. Find the strength and love within, however tentative or powerful it feels. Find some systems of support and accountability to help you keep going. Find some self respect… and pass it on.
Come to prayer. Come to practice. The computer. The canvas. The garden. The meeting. The weights or the mat.
The way is open. Every single step is a step toward success. Find that next step and climb.