There are four main obstacles to spiritual liberation: fear, doubt, shame and laziness. The ego/mind manifests all sorts of problems, distractions, and traps to keep you from resting as your true Self, but all of those are rooted in fear, doubt, shame or laziness.
Willingness overcomes fear and laziness. Fear arises and paralyzes us. We’re afraid to change, afraid of the unknown, afraid to move beyond perceived boundaries. Laziness paralyzes us in a different way by making us dull and stuck in the same ruts. With an attitude of willingness, you can persevere despite these pressures. Each time you move beyond your comfort zone by pushing through fearful thoughts or motivating yourself out of laziness, you become more alive, more fluid, more free.
“To be willing is to be open, ready, and enthusiastic about your journey.”
– Advanced Path book
Trust overcomes doubt and shame. Doubt is a kind of mental disease that undermines us. Doubt is closely linked to fear, which will create doubts as a way to keep you from changing. There is a healthy kind of doubt that leads to inquiry, to deep questioning of all that you’ve assumed to be true. Feel into the difference between deadly doubt and healthy doubt to see which one may be affecting you. Shame, which also appears as guilt or unworthiness, makes us think that we don’t deserve to wake up – not right now, maybe not ever. Shame makes you think that you need to somehow “fix” yourself first. Trust is the key to moving through doubt and shame. Trust that the universe does everything perfectly. Trust that the path is being revealed to you every moment, in perfect time. Trust in your Self. Trust the journey. Trust that you are worthy of awakening. Trust that the deep longing in your soul for liberation is your true calling. Let the song of freedom drown out limiting thoughts and emotions.
“To trust is to live beyond doubt, with optimism and a buoyant heart, knowing that, although you can’t see the next stone on the path, it will appear as soon as you put your foot down.”
– Advanced Path book
It’s worthwhile to inquire into these feelings and see how they are interfering with your path, in which ways and when they manifest, and to see if there is any real substance to them at all. Let go of fear, doubt, shame and laziness, along with all of your associated stories. And when they do arise, as they inevitably will, don’t beat yourself up about it. Simply course correct through willingness, trust and compassion for your journey.