I am usually a pretty calm person. I have spent the last 15 years or so, practicing mindfulness. Yes, things bother me. I am human. I have an intentional practice of reflection at the end of each day on what I did well, what I didn't do so well, and how I might choose differently the next time. This has been a daily practice since the end of my first marriage, when I found myself wanting to blame my husband for everything that went wrong. When I am annoyed or irritated by something, there is something within myself that needs tending and my practice is to ask myself "How am I like that?" If this doesn't lead me to an answer, then I ask "Is there some action I'm needing to take?" We all carry the same qualities, so none of us is immune. It's only that we get decide if we want to grow as a person, or stay the same. I choose growth. It's not easy. The other night I completely lost it on my neighbours. I have not been so upset about something in so long....I can't remember when. I apologized the next day, not for what I was upset about, but how I chose to react to the situation. It's been a hard week in many ways and I was not at my best. However, no one deserves to be the target of someone else's anger or frustration. No one. We both apologized and then decided that we understood what happened, we would choose differently in the future and didn't need to apologize anymore. I love my neighbours. I am so grateful for them all. But, now here I sit, with my first question regarding the situation "How am I like that?" and I come up with nothing. I now have gone to the second question "Is there some action I'm needing to take?" In the garden today I sat with this question and no answer came...until this evening when I saw this post (The Freedom to Choose Something Different - a course with Pema Choudron). Just when we think we know ourselves, I tell you, we do not. I have some work to do.
Soul in the World