I have read this quote a few times and it keeps coming back to my mind, especially when I cannot find the calm in my heart, like when Anjali slaps me three times in a row for not letting her play in the car, or when there's crazy traffic and I'm running super late... I think living this quote wholeheartedly is what I am striving to do in this life but it might be this entire lifetime that I need to learn to practice this.
I suppose I shouldn't be so hard on myself, I can remain calm a lot of the time but there are certain things, triggers, that just push my buttons so hard that a switch is flipped and the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde syndrome is activated, turning me into an evil villain.. or at least that's how I feel on the inside and many times how I act on the outside. Of course, we all have a little Mr. Hyde (the 'evil' one) in us... perhaps evil is not the most mindful of terms, but that part of us that isn't as skillful in loving kindness and compassion.
Often it's the little hurt girl/boy inside of us that didn't get heard or it's because we are not living our lives to their fullest potential, or we just haven't taken the time to really cultivate deep mindfulness, loving kindness and compassion! Or it's all three or more reasons. Whatever the reason, we have a part of us that has a knee jerk reaction that isn't always the kindest. And this part of us may be the part that rules our behavior the majority of the time. Or just part of the time. Regardless, that part is there, perhaps just a seed, or perhaps a fully sprouted plant in our consciousness! Meditation is one of the most powerful tools that we have at our disposal to quiet that side of our beings down so that the loving kindness can flourish!
I know that I have tried to pretend that part of me doesn't exist off and on over the years but it's during those times that it seems to gain more power and control.... I have also tried to avoid conflict, pain, discomforts, anger, etc because wow, how hard are those things to face!!! VERY! And we usually feel about as chaotic as those feelings themselves! or the situation! Facing conflict and pain means facing our darkest side and that same side in those around us, even in our closest loved ones. And this is definitely uncomfortable, perhaps even shakes up our reality in a way that disturbs us. Mindfulness comes into action so that we don't behave with that knee jerk reactive part of ourselves but that we are able to take an objective perspective. See what role I am playing in creating the situation and to come up with a solution.**See disclaimer below. And mindfulness also lets us see that we are not the only ones that feel this way, that darker side of ourselves and our lives isn't bad, it just is. It's there and ignoring it just makes it a monster. Confronting it helps us to realize that it's just as scared as we are!
Mindfulness is the tool to remaining calm when in the middle of a hurricane, giving us the awareness to approach the conflict peacefully so that we can share in the solution without guilt, shame, fear or any other negative emotion or if those emotions arise, we are more equipped to manage them! And meditation is the technique that is very effective in attaining high levels of mindfulness!
Breathe. Look Deeply. Smile. See the Dark. Breathe in the Light!
(**Disclaimer - this is NOT possible if there is any form of abuse going on, verbal, emotional or physical! People who are abused do NOT play a part in their abuse, even if they have done something to anger the abuser, the fact that the abuser cannot control him/herself is not their fault!)
The photo in this post is from a staff member from Free Digital Photos.