Mitote

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August 4, 2022- Once, there was a skilled teacher of mathematics, who told himself that there was nothing he could do right, anymore-not even teaching mathematics. That man helped me break my fear of math, and got me to understand how relatively simple it all is. I reminded him that what he did for me was certainly true many times over. His own self-talk, perhaps reflecting the criticisms of others, was unfortunate and unnecessary.

Don Miguel Garcia, in “The Four Agreements”, writes of mitote, (mih-TOH-tay), a Toltec word meaning, essentially, the fog of self-deception. It is the same as the Hindu concept of maya, or illusion. I have thought of this quite a bit lately. Yesterday, a friend and I were talking about the liberating feeling one gets, when not “wearing a mask” in the process of trying to impress another person. Fakery is discerned by most people, even by those who want to embrace one’s false image.

For so many years, I bought into the image of myself as less than those around me. The illusion was bolstered by a lack of physical coordination, and was dispelled only through military training and the maturity brought by marriage and fatherhood. With my mitote clearing, life has become more fulfilling-not easier, as that is not the purpose of this life, but infinitely more fulfilling.

There have been those who try to foist their own mitote on me, and on others. I am grateful to have had the strength of discernment, when it came time to deal calmly and firmly with such folks.