Maybe if you call an African-American the “N” word in anger, and it’s caught on camera...and then you are fired from your job…maybe you did it to yourself and it didn’t just “happen to you?”
It’s called accountability.
“Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.”
“True acceptance…means you are willing to feel this emotion, this pain in your body, forever.”
This prompt brought me to the source of our strongest emotions of late: grieving. My father was diagnosed with lung cancer on April 1st and passed away on July 11th. In that short span of time, I stayed with my parents a lot in Georgia, away from my desert home in Arizona. The colors of the lush foliage surrounded me as I took walks as breaks from caregiving. Friendly neighbors smiled and waved and I felt welcome and an unexpected sense of peace.
The answer to every “problem” is presence.
“All sadness is a tantrum.”
It is a war with what is (reality).
“With the contemplation of the impermanence of the human form, something very deep and peaceful opens up inside you. That is why I enjoy going to cemeteries. When you accept the impermanence, out of that comes an opening within, which is beyond form. That which is not touched by death, the formless, comes forward as you completely accept the impermanence of all forms. That’s why it is so deeply peaceful to contemplate death.
If someone close to you dies, then there is an added dimension. You may find there is deep sadness. The form also was precious, although what you loved in the form was the formless. And yet, you weep because of the fading form. There too, you come to an acceptance – especially if you are already familiar with death, you already know that everything dies – then you can accept it more easily when it happens to somebody close to you. There is still deep sadness, but then you can have the two dimensions simultaneously – the outer you weeps, the inner and most essential is deeply at peace. It comes forward almost as if it were saying “there is no death”. It’s peace.”
“What’s wrong with dad? He looks like he lost his best friend.” Josie says.
I look at my husband sitting at the end of the pool. He does look forlorn.
“Are you OK? You look sad.”
“Yeah. I’m just considering the preseason injuries the 49ers sustained. It doesn’t look good.”
“Oh well, I’m sure sitting here worrying will help,” I chuckle.
“And we have the pool cover on wrong.”
“I’ll help you turn it over.”
“And I’m still fat*. I look in the mirror and I just don’t want to be this fat.”
“Why don’t you exercise? Make it fun?”
“No, it’s too hot for fun.”
“OK, Eeyore. Have it your way.”
We both laugh.
*see post about his weight loss. He’s lost over 15 lbs in the past two months!
Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath.
We might experience far fewer relationship conflicts if we look at those who lash out as those who are in pain…because they are. This is how we practice equanimity.