Today's Blog Post
In being aware, and/or becoming familiar with who we are, we are attempting to know exactly what to 1) address, and 2) what needs attention in order to avoid harmful behaviors that are so familiar we don’t even think about them. If we never see who we are, we will never know what we can work on. We will continue lying to ourselves and being confused.
We do not want to be BAD people, and we aren’t. We may have done some things that were harmful to ourselves and others and sunk pretty low in our self-pity and judgments’ of others and ourselves. Remember: these were actions we took, not who we really were or are.
Being, and knowing who we are means clearly seeing. It does not mean we mindlessly promote and continue harmful, negative behaviors that keep us in bondage and fear. ABOVE ALL, we practice being compassionate and kind to ourselves. As we honestly look at ourselves, our self-compassion will enable us to be honest. If we are hard, demanding, and judgmental of ourselves, we will become defensive and continue rationalizing bad behavior. We will keep hiding and ‘BS-ing’ ourselves, so we are not judged.
We DO NOT judge ourselves! We look kindly and gently to see the truth. Then we are able to accept and work with ourselves. Don’t scare yourself away. To be able to see and work with a negative behavior is an amazingly fulfilling act. We begin to actually like and trust ourselves, which is new ground for most of us.
In our addiction, we had no chance to know who we really were. We were blindly led by compulsions, and shrouded in denial that cancelled out any intelligent awareness. We now have the capacity, though difficult at times, to look honestly at ourselves and to stop living in fear and confusion.
If we do not have a hand in our own guidance, the winds of whimsy and caprice will blow us about. But we can only guide ourselves when we know whom it is we are guiding.
The ability to look honestly at ourselves is most of the “battle.” Just by recognizing a behavior, your innate sense of goodness and bravery will begin to guide you in a better way. You will permit your true nature to unfold and be present.
Feel when you are trying to manipulate a situation. To manipulate is to manufacture, to create a false world. When we manipulate we will feel a tension, tightness. When we feel that tension, we can BREATHE and reset our minds to be more open. At first, it will feel uncomfortable to deal with the real world in an honest manner. We have old behaviors that prompt us to defend, avoid, or ignore.
We pay attention when we feel a tension, and look at the cause. We need to look honestly at ourselves, but always with COMPASSION. Again, do not judge yourself. Look at yourself as though you were watching a movie, and feel compassion for that person. A light touch is helpful -- don’t get all wrapped up in ‘poor me.’ Make sure that there is a bit of humor in your condition when you begin getting too tight. Rule 62: Don’t take yourself too seriously.
When we are able to accept ourselves more (and this may be a slow process), we are able to begin to accept others and the world as they really are. This will be a wonderful step in engaging more fully in life and in our relationships. This will come gradually, and if you stay on the path, you will find a change that is so much healthier and more fulfilling.
“With force some things may be accomplished; with gentleness all things can be accomplished.” Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche