I think Patsy Cline meant that quote to be a positive thing. She felt captivated by her own dreams, as we all have been. I want to be wonderful and I want to the world to agree with me. I want recognition and reassurance. I want to point out here that to be captive is, well, not to be free.
Basically, you have to suppress your own ambitions in order to be who you are meant to be. -Bob Dylan
“Ambition to climb as high as you can dream”- said some poster in every high school classroom everywhere in America, paired with a man atop a snowy mountain or a black stallion blurred from speed (almost as rich as the kitten-hanging-from-a-tree poster that said “hang in there”.).
Said another way- “Stay limited to your mind, there’s nothing else to know.” What about all that happens beyond your imagination? Might your plans and schemes be missing a key component?
“Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from inside is simply a series of defeats.” – George Orwell
If you want to see how far ambition can lead you astray, hang on to these journals and read back to years prior to see who you were trying to be, and how that worked out for you.
Now, I will forever be self-mocking to get my points across, because I know the ways of being human well. I’ve been in a body for a while, not to mention having dealt with the burden/gift of a mind and of being a woman existing in this world….and have seen my ambition crop up. For the possibility that it may strike home for the reader, I shall review examples you.
Two years ago, my journal is fraught with whiny requests for money, to be loved, to be thin, to fulfill my purpose, to live in a fun neighborhood, to have a working band, to be a vital part of a spiritual community, to not lose out on my youth, to be a mother, to be a farmer, to be seen as a person with wisdom. I wanted to take everything I thought about how I should be and make it happen. I think I wanted to freeze time and move forward all at once.
Is it wrong to want these things? No way. Our minds need a framework, we need something. It was my approach, my ambition-based efforts that really did nothing. I participate in many of those things now, but the road to getting there was kind of ugly and took some strange detours. Surprisingly, they were byproducts of following a mysterious path, which for long stretches of time felt like I was going nowhere. This path has led me to devotion that exceed those things listed. Ambition would have had me settle early with a completely inappropriate person, and I almost did. Ambition would have had me bring a child into the world before I was even grown up. It had me place labels on myself, and rules, deadlines, and lines I would not cross.
The antidote to this, which brought me through? A lot of it had to do with people. Meeting people with whom I have a deep connection with, that needed me, right then or never. And to step up to the task, labels had to be shaken off. Dreams set aside. Fears simply allowed to exist. It is hard to say more than this, because the mystery is far less tangible than the lists I had made in my journals. Try this:
“In choosing The Way of Knowledge you enter into the Mystery. In choosing the way of ambition you follow the ambitions of others.” – Wisdom from the Greater Community
When I look at the people I think I feel love or recognition with now, I do not know who they are to me. With ambition, I would label them. With patience, I would tend to them.
With ambition I am working only based on what I know so far. I am projecting a plan into the immediate or far off future, in a past-referenced framework. Where is there room for mystery?
“The simplest act can express the Wisdom of the universe. When Knowledge is working through you, you will be as much in marvel of it as anyone else could be and perhaps more so because it is happening through your mind and body. For this to take place, ambitions must be left aside. Goals and desires for a happy, unfettered and uncomplicated life will either have to be abandoned completely or greatly altered. That is not to say you are choosing difficulty and duress. You are simply saying, “I must do this and I will accept what comes.” -Ambition, Wikipedia