LABOR

I sometimes catch myself in this belief: that if something isn’t working, or doesn’t seem right, or is just plain out of reach, then before I can fix it, I have to wait for an authority to let me–I have to be given permission. It’s the feeling I had when I was a kid about doing things: everything seemed just out of reach, where it could be seen but not changed. This I guess is what people are talking about when they talk about lacking “agency”. Now I’m starting to see that the work I want to be doing is recouping my agency–from those imaginary authorities. I have to be my own agent!

As my agent, a job I’ve given myself is to try to understand why I do what I do. What are my motivations, really?  I want to be honest with myself without getting down on myself when I don’t like what I find out. I’m trying to remember that just noticing something (anything) changes my relationship to it.

I read this yesterday–it seems right to me:

If you develop a pure and sincere motivation, if you are motivated by a wish to help on the basis of kindness, compassion, and respect, then you can carry on any kind of work, in any field, and function more effectively with less fear or worry, not being afraid of what others think or whether you ultimately will be successful in reaching your goal.              from “Countering Stress and Depression”, a message from the Dalai Lama