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Look at the title. You can see my problem with clarity of expression laid bare.What I’d like to express here, though, is the fascinating insights into behaviour that can be prompted by mindfulness. Awareness leads to insight, to (massively) paraphrase the Buddha (that was the general gist, whether he actually said that I’ve no idea), and a difficult moment this morning led to a moment of that insight. We might think that difficulties in dealing with others have some immediate cause, but the difficulty I had maintaining empathy in the face of someone rather hostile to me go back much, much further than that. On the face of it, it’s related to being tired due to a. a busy weekend during which my parents came to stay as well as b. illness. I can’t blame b. on any particular individual, but the bug that got into my respiratory system and has made me cough all night long for the last 4 weeks had to have come from somewhere. But a. can be implicated on so many levels – was it just tiredness from a couple of entertaining late nights, or were the late nights (and increased stress levels) in some way prompted by the entire history of my relationship with my folks? I can’t say for sure, but ina subtle way pretty much my entire life history has an influence over how I respond to other human beings right now. Woah.So it should be obvious – I can’t change my life history, I can only change how I respond in the present, for which mindfulness is required. Which means there is no choice but to practice. Whichever way I look at it there is no choice but to practice, no way to go but relentlessly forward.

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3 Comments

  1. Something in the last two sentences there comes across negatively. Perhaps the double use of ‘no choice’. Or maybe relentless. Do you see that i mean?

  2. Yes I do. And this is what I’m wrestling with right now – trying to find a positive reason to carry on with all of this stuff instead of doing it to eradicate the negatives. Because, frankly, the negatives are just not that negative anymore. Settling into cosy domestic bliss is very tempting, but I did that once before, and paid dearly for it.

  3. There fear here. Cosy domestic bliss is necessarily a bad thing and i don’t think something you need fear. There’s no reason to expect the same situation to arise, for starters you’re not the same person. By a long, long way.

    Can you find a way to fit both in your life? Cosy domestic bliss is all well and good but balancing it with time to yourself can surely only enhance it’s benefits. No?


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