Friday, February 3, 2012

Get over yourself.

Cliche? Sure is...but true nonetheless.

 Here's something somebody else said:
When we are angry we are blind to reality. Anger may bring us a temporary burst of energy but that energy is blind and it blocks the part of our brain that distinguishes right from wrong. To deal with our problems, we need to be practical and realistic. If we are to be realistic, we need to use our human intelligence properly, which means we need a calm mind.     ~Dalai Lama 
So we're heading into an election (some might say we've been in an election season since say...Eisenhower, but I digress) and things are going to get ugly. We're also not quite as economically sound as we'd like to be, for the most part, and it takes very little for people to jump off the deep end when they see things they don't understand these days. We seem to be perennially on the very edge of losing our minds completely, and we ignore the blindness that this anger is producing.

I go blind sometimes...with rage, with frustration, with fatigue. People have been lamenting as long people have been able to lament about the hard times and the challenges we face as a society and as individuals. And we're so dumb! Over and over, year after year, we make the same mistakes again and again. 

If we were to (gasp!) use our "human intelligence properly" and practice having a calm mind, it's entirely possible that we'd see a history and future with small ups and downs, but never the depth we fancy we've been facing. Along the path of human history, and long the path of your own history, there have been and will continue to be bumps in the road. The road will twist and turn and sometimes the curves will be sharp...I'd venture to guess that some of us have encountered full-on hair pin curves and our direction seems wholly off course. But here's the thing: time and life move in one direction only - forward.

Every instance of blind rage, of blind egotistical anger that's been thrown in someone's direction, is just a waste of your emotional reserve. You can't stop what is destined to happen around you; and I'm not advocating giving up or giving in, because we have to have some measure of control in our lives and we should exercise the free will we've always had. What's different here, however, is that we should seek to do this with a calm mind, a rational mind. Lashing out is usually misguided and misses the mark in almost every case. 

So get over yourself already. You aren't facing anything more tragic than any other person out there has ever faced, no matter what your plight...that's the gorgeousness of human suffering. People lose all their children in one fell swoop of a car accident. Children lose parents every day to illness and accidents. Spouses help one another die with dignity, or watch their marriage lose its footing. Friends come and go, as do careers and material possessions. There isn't any one person on this planet who is immune to sorrow and suffering. When it finds us, the goal is to seek a place of calm. 

The calm mind sees all sides and understands the shared suffering we feel. The calm mind allows for hurt and for sorrow without need for revenge. The calm mind ultimately allows for learning and growth from a moment of flux, and this is what sets us up for movement forward in a healthy way, because we're never done maturing.

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