Twenty-something years ago I wrote about this… back when caring about the environment, especially in the deep South, was just for hippie freak treehuggers.
Is Your Hair On Fire? by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu. This is a lovely discussion of dukkha, or suffering, which fits right in with where my head is lately. Plus the title rocks.
Apologies for the radio silence here. I’ve been thinking. For weeks. I am just about fed up with analyzing my cognitive errors, but I do strive for thoroughness when untangling the knots in the great ball of yarn that is my psyche. As I have noted before, anxiety and panic are impressive motivators, impossible to ignore, so I have found a most fantastic therapist (everyone should be so fortunate) and have been dig-dig-digging away, hoping to unearth the roots of this discomfort and thereby rid myself of it at last. I am not free of anxiety, and I may never be completely, but I’m working on it. In case any of this might be useful to someone else, here are some of my major paradigm shifts from the past twenty-four hours. (I tend to work in bursts.)
Fear is an act of recoiling from experience. Instead of recoiling, lean in.
Experience is only problematic if I make it a problem.
I create my problems because of a belief I’m holding, a story I buy into, that I need to have those problems.
Look at how perfectly I have orchestrated the life I have believed I needed to have!
Life is what you make of it. LITERALLY.
If you are mad at someone you are mad at yourself.
If someone isn’t grateful enough, it’s YOU.
If someone isn’t loving you, is loving you conditionally, or isn’t showing love the right way, the judge of all that is IN YOUR HEAD.
I have a piece of silk streamer tied to a clothes line on my porch. (It came with the porch. The clothes line, not the streamer– I added the streamer for lack of something better to do with it.) It is rippling in the breeze as I type, a large black beetle clinging to it for dear life. Being a beetle I don’t suppose it is thinking much about the whole process; it certainly isn’t saying to itself, “You idiot! Why did you land here? Now look at yourself! Your life is in danger and all you can do is cling like hell with your stupid sticky legs and hope to god you don’t fall off while wondering if this crazy thing is ever going to stop this damned flapping!” But isn’t that how most of us talk to ourselves, or to others around us, when circumstances are not how we like them? I’m more in the self-berating camp, although I can lash out as well (especially at my husband, who thanks to some amazing depth of character continues to put up with me even though I can be unreasonable and mean). To what end? Has it ever increased joy, peace, or goodness in the world? Only never, in my experience. Hm… and how do I hate it when the tables are turned! You dare to attack me? That is wrong and unjust! You should be punished, isolated, love withheld until you Realize the Wrong You Have Committed!! Nice double standard, eh?
Seriously. (Take a moment: if you have kids, do you talk to your kids like that? You can be honest, no one will know. Except your kids, who already know anyway.)
I abuse others to the precise degree that I abuse myself.
I am abusing myself when I abuse others, because I am acting out of alignment with my own truth.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” (quote from Gandhi) also means be the change you wish to see in yourself.
Whenever I find a problem outside, I can find it inside.
Can you see any of this in you? Had any good epiphanies lately? 🙂