(Prologue: I’ve got first-hand experience that a real understanding of the laws of karma can substantially change our lives for the better. I created this weblog to share information and personal experience with others. May it be of benefit!)
It doesn’t really matter what causes us to reach our limit. The point is that sooner or later it happens to all of us. <When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron>
If I am Susan Boyle, I reach my limit when I go from being a “regular” person, unknown except to my family, pet, neighbours, shop keepers, friends, doctors and other service-providers, to having every one of my actions scrutinized. I thought I was just providing entertainment for a talent show. Instead, I become the entertainment! I become anxious, fearful, nervous.
Our habitual assumptions, all our ideas about how things are, keep us from seeing things in a fresh open way…[But] There’s no certainty about anything. This basic truth hurts and frightens us and we want to run away from it. …things like disapppointment and anxiety are messengers telling us that we are about to go into unknown territory.<When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron>
Habits are comprised of two aspects: an emotional aspect, and our habitual ways of reacting (karma). Ego, our manufactured self, uses habits as one of the items in its arsenal of weapons in its battle to maintain its (illusory) solidity, to bolster its mistaken belief that it exists unconditionally, that is, beyond relative causes and conditions. But when ego is “unsuccessful,” and the ground under our habitual patterns shifts, we feel like the rug has been pulled out from under us. We feel like things have fallen apart.
Scotland’s singing sensation Susan Boyle lived like most of us live: anonymously. Her reference points would include being able to freely walk around her town, drop into stores, meet her friends for tea etc. etc. In other words, she lived a “normal” life. She volunteered at her church. She shares her semi-detached home with her pet cat.
Then, she tried out on a TV talent show Britain’s Got Talent. Sneers turned to cheers for this homespun, forty-something spinster when she opened her mouth to sing.
She commented that she wouldn’t be lonely anymore. She was right. The whole world joined her life. In a way for which she was unprepared.
The media “camped” on her doorstep.
Her telephone rang “off the hook” with requests to perform in other countries.
Her hairstyle and clothes were changed.
Makeup was added.
Hollywood knocked on her door. Prince Charles supported her. TV show Larry King Live got her live. Her every action was followed and written about and captured in photographs.
From the exposure that resulted from one evening of singing on Britain’s TV show Britain’s Got Talent, the usual habitual patterns of her life fell apart.
Britain’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan……[said] “she has gone from anonymity to being the most downloaded woman in history,” he told GMTV.
What happened next is not surprising. Just sad.
After the finale on Saturday, May 30, 2009 of TV show Britain’s Got Talent, where she came in second, the world heard that Susan Boyle had come undone.
What really happens when things fall apart? My experience is that habitual reference points get ragged, frayed at the edges. Until that happens, we don’t realize how much we rely on our habitual patterns and our expectations to “hold us together,” “keep us going” etc.
It reminds me of the song Undun by The Guess Who.
She’s come undun
She didn’t know what she was headed for
And when I found what she was headed for
It was too late
Whenever I fall apart, I try to remind myself not to rush in to pick up the pieces. But rather, to use this as an opportunity to go a little bit beyond my habitual patterns and breathe some fresh air, so that I can undercut my karmic stream and change its course.
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