Friday, March 10, 2006
What Is My Path?
I was in my yoga class recently, and the following quote was read in class, and it really struck me and impacted me. I'm afraid I do not know the source, but here is the quote:
"...No one can force you to do what's not for you. In the Bhagvad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna, 'It is better to follow your own calling imperfectly than follow another's perfectly. If death should come while following your own path, this is surely better than living with the fear and anguish of following a false path.' When we're forced to do something that is against our nature, our soul is unhappy, there is no peace. When the soul is unhappy, pain begins to trouble the body as well. Rather than change your ways to conform with the world, you must eventually find a way to express your truth from your heart regardless of the world.
""What makes your soul happy? What is your goal? Since the rest of the world doesn't care what your soul wants, it is up to you to find out. If you are struggling with theses issues, engage in hatha yoga practice, and in the context of your practice...you will soon find the Faith - your foundation or roots - to go in any direction in your life..."
Now, before you all think I'm some kind of yoga guru, I'm not. In fact, I've learned more and more that many aspects of yoga are not my cup of tea. In fact, the quote even applies to my attitude about yoga. No matter how much we've done it, I've decided, for the most part, yoga just isn't for me, and that that's okay. That doesn't mean it isn't right for other people; it just isn't right for me. It's not my path, and that's good to know.
Similarly, if you're a gay man (or woman) deciding that being gay doesn't mesh with your religion, whether you decide being gay take precedence over your religious views or whether you decide that your religion takes precedence over your homosexual attractions, I think the quote is valid either way. No one can force you to live a life that ultimately is bringing you unhappiness.
Ultimately, I have to decide what my soul really craves and needs and figure out if it's worth it in the long run to have that or not. If I decide that living my religion to the best of my ability even if that means I'm without a companion is what brings me the greatest happiness, then that's what I should do. On the other hand, if I decide that companionship with a man brings me greater happiness even if it means I'm willing to sacrifice my standing in my church, then perhaps that's the choice to be made. The point is, we can't force ourselves to live somebody else's idea of happiness and fulfillment if indeed we aren't gaining happiness and fulfillment from it. We have to figure out our own path, and perhaps "it is better to follow [our] own calling imperfectly than to follow another's perfectly."
I also think it's important to figure out what will give us the greatest happiness in the long run, not just what will give us immediate satisfaction, pleasure, or gratification.
As of yet, I'm still unclear on what the right path is for me, but I do feel God whispering in my ear every day that whatever path I choose, it is my choice, and that he just wants me to be happy.