ERIN TOMASO SMITH      WHAT IS MY STRUGGLE TO ACHIEVE TAPAS?

Tapas, Hinduism (Sanskrit: “heat,” or “ardour”), in, ascetic practice voluntarily

carried out to achieve spiritual power or purification. In the Vedas, tapas refers

to the “inner heat” created by the practice of physical austerities and figured in

the creation myths, as a means by which Prajāpati (the main creator god)

brought the world into existence. In later Hinduism the practice of tapas was

especially associated with yogic discipline as a way of purifying the body in

preparation for the more exacting spiritual exercises leading to liberation

(moksha). Among the austerities mentioned in the are fasting, the holding of difficult and often painful bodily postures, vigils kept in the presence of fires or extreme cold, and breath control literature sacred.   (www.Britanica.com/tapas)

Okay, okay, okay...now that I fully understand the meaning of Tapas, I can

finally define my struggles to achieve it. I get it. Our discipline to experience it

or to achieve it. To define Tapas as being a struggle was what I initially saw

as confusing because I did not view this concept as a struggle. After a bit (a

lot, actually) of exploration of the concept and with myself I realize that the

“struggle” is what keeps us from finding Tapas. Not that Tapas is as struggle.

So, what part of me makes it difficult to practice (or find) Tapas in my life?

Well, as hard as it is to admit, I like to be in control. An enormous side of me is

very open to accepting help.... I like to personally believe anyway. Help in big

or small ways. Whether it be help with daily chores around the house,

understanding certain financing, completing a task or assignment, organizing

an event, calming the chaos, getting the girls ready for school, so on and so

forth. One of two things are bound to occur.... One, I ask for help only to find

myself annoyed with the help I am offered, turning it down, or demanding that

it be done a very complicatedly and precise way. Two, I simply will not ask for

help knowing that the answer might be scary or I simply won’t like the answer.

OIY! What is wrong with me!!!???

 

Definition of my struggle toward achieving Tapas: unadmitted (but now

 

admittedly) “help control freak”.

Wow, I never knew that I felt that way about myself until this very instant. I

ERIN TOMASO SMITH WHAT IS MY STRUGGLE TO ACHIEVE TAPAS?

I am very proud, highly educated, know what I want in my life, I always try to

be openminded and supporting of others even when I don’t feel like it, I am a

positive and influential leader. But I am also sad. I don’t need, or want, people

to know this. As a mother, supporting wife, coach, and friend I don’t feel that I

can be sad or down or anything other than optimistic and “strong”. So, I

replace it with this behavior. “Help Control Freak”. Maybe if I am in “control” of

all help that I need (but won’t necessarily request) I will always come across

strong? I don’t really know, to be completely honest.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not the type to always be right. That is not the

control I am talking about. My struggle is entirely regarding asking and

receiving the help that I need. So maybe control is a crazy term to use. But

really it is about the control. I feel like I need to be in “control” of the result that

I may get from the asking part. The result.... Eeek. The result may, very likely,

be to pliable for me to handle.

 

wrote that. I said that out loud. That is terrible. I always thought of myself

 

differently. But, it’s absolutely truth.

I think this is called vulnerability? Whew. Scary stuff. But I am discovering

more about myself EVERY SINGLE DAY! I cry EVERY SINGLE DAY,

because I realize I can be vulnerable. I am finally realizing I don’t have to be in

control of every result. I think I feel that if I can control this one thing, the

potential results, I can maintain face. I will never be caught in a state of

weakness. Because asking for help may expose my weakness.... My

sadness, right? Or so I thought. If the result opens a can of worms.... It’s ok. I

can feel sad and no one will be negatively affected by it. If the result scares

me and someone sees it.... It’s okay. And hey, maybe my exposures will help

someone else in some way. That is what I am here on earth to do anyhow.

Help others. That [helping others] is what I feel my purpose here on Earth is.

So, why the heck am I so padlocked from accepting help from others if I am

so determined to help everyone else? I know that me being sad, a lot, is a big

obstruction and I believe that it stems this need to be in control of the results. I

need to realize that it’s okay. I’m okay. This is another path to help me learn

more so I can teach more. This vulnerability, the need to be in control of the

results, the fear of letting anyone discover that I too can be weak.... It’s ok.

Just ask for help gosh dangit! I will be okay. I did break down and ask you for

help the other day, didn’t I? Wewhooooo! See, I am already beginning to be a

stronger soul. 

Lisa KanneComment