When I was a kid, my family went backpacking every summer. My sister would spend our hikes looking at rocks, getting lost in the color of leaves, and, as far as I could tell, generally forgetting that we were going anywhere at all. I, on the other hand, would be consulting maps and watches and calculating how fast we would get to the next lake if we kept up our pace. Until fairly recently, my being the "driven" type just felt like an indelible fact, one of those pieces of karma so close to you it feels like skin.
But then a funny thing happened at the New Year's retreat this year. We kept looking at the "story of me," and by the time I drove home, it felt like that skin had come loose -- a very disconcerting experience. I started catching glimpses out of the corner of my eye in quiet moments of it flapping around as I waited at a stoplight or sat at my desk at work, and all of a sudden it didn't feel so much like "me" anymore.
I've been looking at the process of feeling driven in the months since, and a few weeks ago I had what felt like a big moment. I had been on a long trip and was struggling with transitioning back to daily life. I couldn't shake the feeling that I'd temporarily escaped from a box and was now being shoved back inside. In the middle of talking to my Reflective Listening buddy about it one morning, what came out of my mouth was "I'm so tired of being told every day that I'm not doing enough."
Wow. Every day. Every, single, day. Not some days, every day. Every day, every chance they get, those voices tell me I'm not doing enough. Every day. And somehow it feels very freeing to realize I'm never going to win. Nothing I could ever do will stop the voices from whispering (or shouting) "not enough" in my ear. And what an incredible gift to have Practice and Sangha to help me get to that clarity and to help me find out what's possible if I lose interest in the "not enough" story.