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Friday, November 28, 2008

The trap in trying to better your life

Posted on Happy Minds!

One of the traps that you might encounter when you start doing meditation, mindfulness exercises, changing your thinking patterns etcetera, is the following: You may start to realise that you judge other people ànd yourself, quite harshly. You may start to realise that deep down, you’re not such a good friend to others ànd yourself as you always imagined you would be. You may find that there’s a lot of anger, egocentricity, jealousy, pride, hunger for bliss and (sexual) fulfilment inside of you, which really makes you want to push all others aside without any consideration for their feelings. As long as you get your satisfaction. This way of putting it may sound a little exacerbated for most of you, but there is a dark side in all of us!

It takes a lot of courage to stay with these things. Not to walk away from them. Not trying to change them into something else. Seeing things for what they are, and just staying with them, so your learning process can really start. If you do not allow your anger and the reasons for it arising to be examined, how do you expect to get the full benefit of learning how to deal with these forces in your mind? You just do not want them to be there, that is the whole problem to begin with!

Fact is, you will not always be able to allow these dark sides of your persona to manifest fully in the open. It is not called your subconscious for no reason at all. You will run away from your negative traits at times. You will suppress them at times, you will try to drink/smoke/snort/meditate/yoga or think them away from time to time.

There’s a big trap in here. You can either accept that your process is not perfect, or you can make your process another reason for feeling resentment and disapproval for yourself. Also, you can either try to fight the facts that all human beings are going through a lengthy, faulty, troublesome journey which provokes them to big mistakes from time to time, or you can try to accept them for what they are. You can fool yourself, but really, are you without fault? Is there no ignorance, greed, jealousy, dishonesty or anger inside you? So you have attained Buddhahood already? Then answer these questions honestly: how come you feel so depressed or apathetic sometimes? How come other people have a problem with you from time to time?

The trap is, that trying to change your life for the better, can turn into a fight and another reason for discontentment itself.
It seems that the first thing you should focus on, is not loving yourself, others, the world or anything in it. The first thing you should try to see with some acceptance, warmth, gentleness and love, is the process of life itself. Try to accept that this process is not perfect, and similarly, you are not perfect. Life is not the way you want it to be, and it will never be the way you want it to be. Life has its own beauty. It helps a little if you try to accept that your life sometimes seems like a harsh, lengthy process, even though in reality it is very short. You are just not able to let go of your ego today!

Confucius said: “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” If you can truly accept this, maybe you will not be completely dishearted when you meet setbacks. When you find it is very hard to change your behaviour. When you find you do everything right but still feel bad.

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