M is for Moderation

One of the things that really stuck with me from Buddhism is the importance of the middle path. When Sidhartha was finding his way to enlightenment, he swung from the opulence of his upbringing as a prince to complete asceticism, but neither brought him what he sought after. People think of Buddhists, especially monks, as people who live very simply – and they are – but it’s easy to take the wrong message from that. There are many people who take vows for a few years and then go on with their lives, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I was pleased to find moderation listed as one of the ADF virtues because it is one that I know and respect a great deal even as I struggle with it. OCD is not exactly conducive to moderation, after all. In many ways it is in opposition. Lizard Brain doesn’t want me to do anything in moderation. I struggle to find “good enough” and stay there, resisting the siren song of perfectionism. I don’t always succeed.

It’s precisely because I struggle so much with moderation that I value it so deeply, though. The middle path, and the calm of mind that it represents, are things that I want badly and continually strive for.

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