Last night I was flipping channels at around 11:00, not quite ready for bed. I landed on a talking head with big, shiny teeth and tightly coiffed hair. I stopped and listened to the Christian fella, who must be popular to have his own television broadcast. His name was Joel Osteen. Anyone ever heard of him?
I would have rolled my eyes except that he was talking about overcoming adversity (I think). Not letting the struggle get us down. Having faith that God (I don’t think in these terms but this was Osteen’s message) has everything figured out for us. That adversity and struggle are a sign that there’s all the more good coming to us at the other end. We need not worry so much.
This morning, a surprise: I heard his echo in my head when I woke up! In particular, something about not talking about our feelings all the time and instead staying quiet with contentment and certainty that all is well and will be well. To me, this message especially makes sense in a Buddhist context. Mindfulness. Living in the here and now.
But I didn’t like his follow-up: Given that our good is waiting for us, airing self-doubts about obtaining that good can delay or halt its arrival. Could this possibly be true? Are our thoughts that powerful? That possibility scares me. Do we have to already be enlightened to live our dreams?
These days, I’m most likely to feel angst-ridded, doubtful, and frustrated about my fiction career. I so want a book deal and oodles of happy readers! I’m not that mindful all the time; I often air my downer feelings as a way of letting them go. In and out. Emotions are so transient.
Does giving these emotions airtime lend them more power? Do I self-sabotage my chances at a successful fiction career by indulging in them for even a moment on this blog or to my friends?
This is all very woo-woo, I know. I don’t know the answers. What’s your take?
P.S. The eerie thing is that on Saturday I bought a book with the word “mindfulness” in its title. So maybe I was “meant” to land on Mr. Osteen last night?