The Gift of Impeccability
The path of the spiritual warrior can be daunting.
Many of us are called to it, but when faced with its challenges, few people feel the ability to stay true to themselves by staying true to the path. It can seem like they have a million miles to walk, but so little time. Or so little energy.
In our society, we have the tendency to see the colossal heights of the mountains we believe others have climbed and think that they are impossibilities for us.
We find many reasons to think that what others have done in the past is out of our reach. ‘They didn’t have the obligations I have,’ you might say, or; ‘They had supporting parents/friends/environments that I don’t have,’ or ‘They were born with a gift…’ And so the story goes. On and on we can perceive that what others have achieved or accomplished is too far beyond our reach.
I know what this is like. I was born into a nest of those thoughts. Self-doubt and the impression of impossibility were my swaddling clothes in my youngest years. It is not the fault of those that gave them to me as, ultimately, they had only the capacity they had and the awareness they had to work with.
But each journey begins simply. One foot in front of the next. As we move along the journey we find that we become more refined, that the subtleties and intricacies of our movement become finer tuned, that we eliminate, little by little, what is unnecessary and what hinders our forward momentum on the path.
There are little things that we all carry that hinder us. But these little things, that mostly go unnoticed, add up and so become bigger things. These bigger things become the massive burdens that make any forward motion seem impossible. That make us look at the summits others have climbed and tell ourselves that those experiences are not for us, but for the select few that have in some way been privileged by circumstance to achieve them.
But just like the bigger things are made of smaller things, they can also be unmade by removing smaller things. They can be broken down, piece by piece, until the seemingly massive burden you were carrying is nothing but a pebble in your hand. Until that pebble in your hand becomes an echo of a splash that stays with you after you throw it into a river you cross on the path.
That echo is the sound of your freedom.
So it is with living with impeccability.
I have spoken to many people about this concept before. To some it is frightening because they believe it is an expectation of perfection. That it is something they must come to as a finished product, as someone that has no more work to do on themselves. A complete and enlightened being.
Complete and enlightened beings are good for storybooks. That’s why they never have backstories. At least not backstories that are commonly known.
The illusion is that anyone along any path can ever come to the place of perfection. If there is anything we can claim to know about this existence we are all sharing, it is that it is about perpetual change. In that perpetual change there are two trajectories: growth or atrophy.
If you choose growth, you will find that each day there is something more that you can let go of. Something more to liberate yourself from. To unbind yourself from. The spiritual warrior’s path is not one of adding things. It is not about adding practices, adding beliefs, adding commitments, adding identities, adding expectations.
The way of the spiritual warrior is, in the words of Bruce Lee, about daily decrease not daily increase. It is an unburdening. Of yourself and of the energetic burdens and ties that way you down.
Impeccability is about learning to recognize the inessentials. Those unconscious thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that have accumulated over time, added to the great spiritual and emotional weights that are given to you at birth and throughout your upbringing.
All of those things that are not you that you have been weighed down beneath. That have limited your true essence and your true expression in the world. To uncover the essence of what you are is not to add what is superfluous or unnecessary to your life. It is to peel away the inessentials, to recognize the places where your thoughts, words, or actions have led to greater expenditures of your energy and your time, instead of freeing more time and energy for the exploration and expression of your genuine self.
Impeccability is something that grows over time. That starts with the smallest shifts in your patterns of thought, that allows you to see the ways that you have unknowingly allowed your essence to be buried beneath the expectations and delusions of others.
As you learn to recognize these things your capacity to integrate impeccable action into your life grows almost imperceptibly. The little choices and actions that strip away the things that once burdened you become a way of being. One that flows, like a stream unhindered by the litter and debris that others have dropped into its path. As this stream gathers momentum it quickly moves past larger and larger obstacles until it becomes a roaring river.
That river becomes your life. Guiding you back to the immense ocean of consciousness that is your essence, that is the Source. Returning to this with the full awareness of yourself, of the sacredness of yourself, is the gift of impeccability. It is the illumination of your heart and your soul that can be the quality of your being for all of your days. Until you return to the Source.