The Eagles may have fibbed a bit.
I had to search deep inside of my being to find some peace recently. I think we all find ourselves in situations where we can’t shut our mind off. When I am hurt about something I almost obsess on the situation. Okay, not almost, without hesitation I am consumed. I know better, I am better than that but it takes me a bit to find clarity in what is bothering me. When I use “that” I mean in the bigger picture, the realm of life. You know, is this going to matter in a year, a week or even a day? I think of all of the times I worried myself until I was physically ill and mentally exhausted and cringe. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat and now I can’t even tell you what the actual fight or pain was over. It’s time to stop that shit.
I was struggling pretty hard this week for some tranquility when I came across this:
It is said that one day the Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him. “You have no right teaching others,” he shouted. “You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake!”
The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man, “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”
The young man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me, because I bought the gift.”
The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.”
Whoa, that is powerful stuff right there. Of course it made me step back and wish I had that in me. That serenity, the ability to not take things personally, so I started reading more and looked deeper in myself and found that I wasn’t okay with my being, my behavior and that constant nagging I do to myself. So I said “self, shut up and forgive yourself and others and get busy making some good memories.” I couldn’t get out of my funk though so I had to face what was bothering me.
It seemed to be everything this week. It could be something as small as hitting a bunch of red lights on the way to work or someone giving me some criticism. I start to think everyone and everything is against me. That’s a cluster of bullshit and I know it. Seriously, did the stop lights on Itsallaboutme Ln. conspire against me? Of course not, and neither did anyone else. It is my choice if I choose to be around people who are not kind and belittle others. I can’t take that personally. It’s not about me, it’s about them. As I call it, I get “all butt hurt” and sit and fester in someone else’s shit. Well, time to drain that septic tank and be done with it.
I am old enough and wise enough that I should be able to step back and distinguish the difference between someone else’s misdirected anger and my own conduct and differentiate between the two. Yet, this is what happens when I squander my time on taking things personally. Now my challenge is to step back from the accusation and let itself work itself out. It may be small to me but not the other person. I am just not good with conflict. I find it demeaning and I shield, defend and then collapse. The most difficult lesson in my life has been to accept I am not responsible for another individual’s behavior and let it be. It’s a shame I could not have got this through to my thick ego last Tuesday. Okay, Tuesday back in 1942 but who’s counting?
I have to give my partner some credit here. I always read and hear that saying “only you can make you happy.” Oh shit yes, it is beyond true but in this same sentence I can say without a shadow of a doubt; I want to be a better person because of her. Not for her but for me and for us. I like who I am when I am with her and she makes me happy. I love our family dynamic; I love my time with her and away from her. In all of these lessons of life, she has shown me something I continue to learn on a daily basis, it is okay to not be perfect. She has taught me how to not take everything so literal as well. You can’t buy that stuff and I am lucky.
To sum all this up, every day is a learning experience. It is up to me to find the beauty in the ugly experiences we must endure. It is effortless to fall victim to tradition and take things personally because we were taught or acquired it in our lives. It is up to me to stop that circle of negativity. It is up to me to surround myself with good and positivity so hopefully I can show the little ones in my life how to be kind and non-judgmental. It is up to me to learn from hurtful experiences and be a better person by owning my own behavior and not repeating the same mistakes. I will attempt to see others’ core humanity and resist putting Nair in their shampoo. I will show love, compassion, gentleness and all in an effort to make this place we all share a bit better. That’s all I got in me today folks. I almost have some sort of liquid forming in my eye so I have to stop writing. Thank you for reading this and allowing me to sort out my feelings through words.
Let’s all be kind and expect the same.