"Anger ... it's a paralyzing emotion ... you can't get anything done. People sort of think it's an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don't think it's any of that — it's helpless ... it's absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers ... and anger doesn't provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever." ~ Toni Morrison
For decades anger was my constant companion. I was angry at everyone and everything. The strange thing is that it gave me a false sense of strength. My anger was always justified, righteous. Then, when I began my forgiveness work, I realized that anger was nothing more than a sad attempt to create some illusion of power. I chose anger as a response to a belief that I had no power or worth. Worse, I realized that I was severely addicted. I was addicted to the FEELINGS associated with anger. It had absolutely nothing to do with ‘reasons’, it was an addiction. Now, years after detoxing, I still have momentary flares of anger but they are rare and quickly intercepted. Piece of cake...
"Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing." ~ August Wilson
I am curious as to why I would ‘wrestle’ with my demons since ‘banishing them with illumination and forgiveness’ did the trick. Oh, well, I guess the human mind seeks to ‘wrestle’ where ease would do nicely.
“Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.” ~ Brene Brown
Years ago, when I was really caught up with the idea of depression, I had isolated myself--both physically and emotionally--under the misguided premise that seclusion would bring me safety. What could be called a stubbornness to open-up was really a fear of being vulnerable, of being judged as defective. It wasn’t until I came to the center in Costa Rica that I realized it had nothing to do with being alone, but it was the feeling of isolation from myself that I had constructed as a protective measure from the fear of what deformities I perceived to be within.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. In the case of affected individuals like myself, it took a community to remember him, and the innocence that never went away.
"All Birds find shelter during a rain. But Eagle avoids rain by flying above the Clouds. Problems are common, but attitude makes the difference!" ~ A.P.J.Abdul Kalam
When I experience a challenge or an upset I have a choice: run from it, find shelter, or look at it with Love and appreciation for what is being offered. Looking at anything with love is the soaring above the clouds the eagle teaches me to do. How do I change my attitude? By recognizing that it is a choice I made. Who is the one that chooses? That ‘who’, that sparrow, can at any time be transformed into an eagle.
“We have two ears and one mouth so we should listen more than we say.” ~ Zeno of Citium
Sage advice for the dinner table, especially when it comes to the holiday season. If I can learn to be the host in conversation, I will always be in good company.
“Keeping an old troublesome habit is like keeping poisonous snakes in your arms.
Now is the time to hold this snake and throw it out.” ~ Poonja
These ‘troublesome’ habits are the result of mistaken core beliefs, a mistaken identity. Throwing the snake out will be a start but quickly turns into behaviour modification, a tiring and often futile process. Transform the belief and the snake is nowhere to be seen. The habits will then gradually cease to be a challenge.
“Trying to understand is just indulging in mental acrobatics.
Whatever you have understood, you are not. Spit it all out.
Whatever you understand is not the truth. Throw it overboard.
Do not try to catch hold of any concepts and cling to them.” ~ Nisargadatta
Since our ‘work’ is about Love and Oneness, and neither can be 'understood', my focus will not be on understanding but on surrender. One definition of love is: “Joyful acceptance”. There is no need for any understanding in acceptance and surrender to what Is.
“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard
Experience is life. It is what builds character and derives meaning through an ongoing relationship between self and one’s environment. While I may ascribe some experiences as more desirable than others, I nonetheless am a product of them. Examining one’s past mistakes gives insight as to the ‘why’ things happened, so that I can go forth with that gained knowledge a freer individual.
“Until you are free of the drug of self-identification, all your religions and sciences, prayers and yogas are of no use to you, for, based on a mistake, they strengthen it.” ~ Nisargadatta
“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” ~ G.K Chesterton
I love Christmas-time, but what is it, really, that makes it so ‘special’? And then it hit me. It is a time in which we allow for the idea, for awhile anyway, that we all matter equally, that we are enough...and in that recognition is the absence of specialness which causes so much suffering.
Diederik Wolsak is program director at Choose Again