An obligation is a strong duty. To every spirit, I have an obligation. To every person who comes to me in need, I have an obligation. To everyone I agree to help, I have an obligation. To myself…I have an obligation. While I have many obligations to all things, I want to focus at this moment on obligations to self:
- It is my obligation to myself to enjoy my life and to learn about anything that interests me.
- It is my obligation to be true to myself and allow my thoughts and spirit to always remain free.
- It is my obligation to be steadfast when I want, to bend in the wind when I want, to be contrary when I want and to agree with everything I want.
- I am part of the planet, part of the spirit realm, part of the universe. I do not attempt to deny anyone the comforts they desire and this includes myself. My life as this person is short. To not live it to the fullest, to deny myself any experiences (some pleasurable, some sorrowful) is to squander a great gift. The world of physical perception is fleeting and it is my obligation to myself to live it without regret.
For me, my obligations are the tenets by which I live. They are all simple, common sense things really, like “do as little as I can to disturb nature when I hike and camp in the great forests”. They are always focused on being true to spirit as I know it. They are not always moral however.
I’m definitely not a new-age type guy. If something feels pretentious to me, I will discard it. If I think something is bullshit, I will call it like I see it. Later on, if I change my mind, I’ll do that, too. I’m carnal, primal and enjoy sensual pleasures without guilt. These are just examples of my own path.
A shaman doesn’t have to be all zen and emotionless. I’m not a spiritual guru sitting on the top of a mountain waiting for people to partake of my wisdom. Wisdom is a benefit of experience. Just experience as much as you can and you will have wisdom. Sometimes, we should be foolish, anyway. Learning by mistakes is a time honored tradition, too!
I can get angry, I can get sad, I can feel joy and rage and remorse. These are things I am here to experience. If I try and be “above all that” I’m simply denying myself the benefit of all that.
So, if you take only one thing from this, I hope it is that you choose to open yourself up fully to life’s experiences. This is, in my opinion, the most important obligation to ourselves we can make.