Have you noticed that when we are bogged down by our own pain we tend to view the rest of the world through pain filled eyes? Our minds can’t be quiet, we cannot get a good night’s rest, our bodies ache (especially the neck and shoulders – which represent the part of the body that “carries burdens’), and we are ill at ease? We wonder, ‘Why do we keep attracting the same situations, and people?’ ‘Why does this keep happening?’ ‘Why me?’
How do we change this pattern? What is this cycle?
In my limited experience, and with the meditation practices that have opened my eyes, I have learned the power of ‘taking responsibility’ for the conditions in which I find myself as a result of the choices I have made.
It is not easy to accept responsibility for the part we play in perpetuating our pain. Of course this does not apply to all situations, I leave the discerning to you.
In many cases, I have given my power to others I trusted, personally and professionally, and not listened to that inner voice that warned me early on. Whether it was a situation within my family, a friendship, a romantic relationship, or a job, every time I have not heeded that inner voice, I have suffered. We all have instincts. There are triggers that set off our warning bells. I admit I have not listened to those warning bells for most of my adult life, and have regretted it more times than I care to remember.
I am presently in the process of writing a book about my life, and the journey of self reflection required to do this has forced me to recognize the self-defeating patterns I fell into starting in my early adult years. Many times I actually have said aloud, to my computer, “You stupid girl!”, and “What were you thinking?” and “OH MY GOD!!!”…because it is all there; the need….. to be loved, accepted, understood, recognized, appreciated in the way I wanted and imagined I would be. According to the Buddhist principles that I follow this emotional pattern is one of the root poisons, called ‘attachment’. Hoping and yearning made me see what I wanted to see and not what was really present, resulting in more attachment – which came in the form of regret, disappointment, and grief – when my expectations were not met. I refused to acknowledge the dysfunction that I not only recognized early on, but allowed, enabled and continued to participate in.
Had I trusted…Had I followed my instincts…Had I not allowed myself to be swayed ……Had I not been afraid… Had I known….. Had I…Had I…
We have more power over situations than we realize, much less exercise. We have to learn how to get out of our own way. We have to learn to trust ourselves! While we often blame others, or deny, or distract ourselves to keep from having to acknowledge the truth, it is always there, and deep down, we know it.
Real change starts with being honest with ourselves, and admitting to some things that are not easy to admit. It’s okay. It’s the first step towards breaking painful patterns.
Then, comes forgiveness…..the subject of my next blog.
I tell my children…”Be your own best friend”. Treat that one who gazes back at you with the same devotion, honesty, and love you give away in hopes it will be reciprocated in kind. Everything you “wish’ for from others, we already embody. Fill your own cup.
May the peace that passes all understanding envelope you. May you honor yourself like never before. May you be aware when you get in your own way and perpetuate self-defeating relationships, and circumstances. May you listen to that inner voice that is always speaking to you. May you take responsibility for the part you play in staying stuck in circumstances you can control. May you begin to make new choices, and break old patterns. May you be at ease.
May your hearts be light.
From my heart, to yours,