Mastery is an absence of conflict.
Conflict will happen, don’t get me wrong. With mastery, it just won’t be generated by any particle or suggestion of your being.
When a hurricane blows through, the trees don’t get together to complain about whether this was the best time for a hurricane. The rocks aren’t concerned about whether or not they are being punished. Nature responds and continues.
The freedom to have an opinion about what’s happening is uniquely human. Opinions generate emotions - if something is good, we can feel happy, and if something is bad we can feel sad. It’s a simplified explanation, but I encourage you to explore the idea play with it. No matter what the opinion is, life keeps happening. And as the saying goes, hindsight is always 20/20.
So, what is hindsight? The ability to reconsider, to rethink, to be open to a perspective different than the dominant force at the time of an event - this is what we call hindsight. Hindsight provides a fresh option to have a different opinion, if you’d like to maintain an opinion. There is also the option to have no opinion and instead be open to seeing things as they are. Options like these are also uniquely human.
Hindsight can reveal that struggle may have never been necessary. It can be the retroactive light at the end of the tunnel. Ultimately, hindsight with the options it provides is a time machine - once an opinion is changed (if you want an opinion), your world changes to match.
So, why not walk around with benefit of hindsight right now?
How the heck would that work, Kerri?? Well, I’ll tell you, but please don’t just believe me or shun the thought. Go out and try it for yourself.
Walk around with no opinion and no judgment. You can play this game for 5 minutes, for an hour, or however long you find fun and interesting. Beginning with no opinion and no judgment means there is no locked-in perspective you might need to change later with hindsight. With no opinion and no judgment, you effectively give yourself the benefit of hindsight in “real-time”. Your perspective is fluid and elastic, available to be with what’s actually happening, responsive to what might best serve in the moment rather than enslaved by an expectation of which opinion is expected at any given exchange.
Your innate ability as a human to dance through multiple perspectives offers you freedom in every single moment of every single moment. It may seem strange at first, but that's only because we weren’t taught this approach to life in school. Isn’t it time to learn some new stuff about what we can do with the beauty and awesomeness of all that we are?
It might be a strange thought to many, to have no opinion and no judgment. I can’t count how many times people have said to me, “We need judgment - how else do we know what’s right and wrong?”
My suggestion is, instead of right and wrong, let yourself be aware of how it sits in the heart of your being as you consider doing this or doing that, saying this or saying that. I promise you your heart knows what works for you and what doesn’t, no judgment necessary. You feel what is “right” and what is “wrong” when you are open to feel. Judgment is mental and not sensory, and there is nothing wrong with that. Absent of judgment, one develops discernment based on an innate sense and feel, an innate knowing of interaction with the outside world and subsequent thoughts in response to the outside world. It is an intimate journey with one’s Self.
I read some time ago, and I’m paraphrasing here, that a martial arts master was asked why he never gets knocked off-center and how he has accomplished this. His response was to admit that being knocked off center can still happen, that the difference between being a beginner and being a master is not that the master is never knocked off-center, it is the speed with which center is recovered. Center is the seat of the absence of conflict, the absence of judgment.
Emotions, conflicts and judgments all exist. To deny their existence is to live in denial. They do not need to be generated within you or by you if you wish freedom from them. And when they arise from the outside world, walking in the absence of judgment makes you available to see any and all conflicts flying around without being affected. At times the wind will blow hard, threatening to knock you off-center. When you are no longer generating conflicts, the wind can push and blow around, and you recover your center with an ease you may never have thought possible.
Mastery denies nothing and is willing to recognize what is. This is an absence of conflict. What is is. Even when it’s conflict.
Judge not conflict any more than you would judge a flower. Born of different constructs, each is simply living out its existence. To be sure, one feels different than the other. So be it. Maintaining an opinion about the existence of either is fuel for hindsight.