Excerpt from page 237 in The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your LIfe, by Deepak Chopra on giving your all, how passion brings up your shadow--dark and golden, and living without reservations:
"Being able to affect your whole reality at once is the essence of "simultaneous interdependent co-arising." There is no limit to how far your influence can reach but to find that out you must engage life with passion. When you do anything with passion, you express every aspect of who you are. Passion releases all the energy you possess. At that moment you put yourself on the line, for if you throw everything you have into a pursuit, your defects and weaknesses are also exposed. Passion brings up everything.
This inescapable fact discourages many people, who dislike the negative parts of themselves so much, or are so intimidated by them, that they hold their passion in check in the belief that life will be made safer. Perhaps it will, but at the same time they are greatly limiting their understanding of what life can bring. In general terms, there are three levels of commitment you can express:
1. Going into a situation only far enough to meet the first real obstacle
2. Going into a situation far enough to conquer some obstacles
3. Going into a situation to conquer all obstacles
. . . . If you didn't know human nature, you might suppose that a single activity like painting, mountaineering, or writing could be treated separately, but the whole person is affected because the whole person is being expressed. (This is why it's said that you get to know yourself on the mountain or in front of the lank canvas.) Even if you pick a very narrow skill, like running a marathon or cooking, your whole sense of self shifts when you succeed with passion as opposed to failing or backing off.
The willingness to reach inside every part of yourself opens the door to total understanding. You place your entire identity on the line, not just an isolated part. This may sound daunting, but actually it's the most natural way to approach any situation. When you hold some part of yourself in reserve you deny it exposure to life; you repress its energy and keep it from understanding what it needs to know. Imagine a baby who wants to walk but has these reservations:
- I don't want to look bad.
- I don't want to fall down.
- I don't want anyone else to watch me fail.
- I don't want to live with the burden of failure.
- I don't want to expend all my energy.
- I don't want any pain.
- I want to get things over with as fast as possible.
For a baby those reservations seem absurd. If any of them applied, learning to walk would never happen, or it would happen tentatively. The chance for mastery could never present itself. Yet as adults we resort to these reservations all the time. We deny ourselves mastery as a result. No one can can change the fact that all the negatives of a situation express themselves the minute the situation arises, along with all the positives. There is no escaping the internal decisions we've made.
Everything you've decided about yourself is in play at this moment.
Fortunately, these individual decisions can be reexamined and changed. Since all the negatives are right in front of you, you don't have to go searching for them. What people experience as obstacles in life are reflections of a decision to shut out understanding. If you shut out too much understanding, you become a victim, subject to forces that bewilder and overwhelm you. These forces aren't blind fate or misfortune; they are holes in your awareness, the places where you haven't been able to look.
Today, try to look at one of the decisions that has kept you from totally engaging in life, which may be included in the list just above."