"To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it." ~ Confucius
What a perfect thought on Easter morning. What do I choose to remember? Whatever it is, my carefully selected memory determines my experience. It is my memory I suffer from. The event in which I believe I was wronged is long over. Transform the one remembering, and the planet seems to shift dramatically. Happy Easter!
“What we know matters, but who we are matters more. Being rather than knowing requires showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” ~ Brene Brown
I came across an amazing analogy in Bruce Springsteen's autobiography 'Born to Run', in which he emphasized that his success and longevity of his band, along with the connection he had with his fans, came about because he recognized what it required to be in the 'Showbiz': You're in the “business of SHOWING...not TELLING.”
I say this, not as a 'how-to-make-friends-and-be-famous' shtick, but I do feel that there is a certain appeal towards musicians, such as Bruce, that we can learn from and integrate into our own lives. They have found their authentic voice and are willing to share it with others. They're pitch may not be perfect, but maybe because of that, we appreciate them even more.
"It is not the neurotic's self-concern, whether pity or contempt, which breaks the circle formation; the cue to cure is self-transcendence!" ~ Viktor Frankl
Ah, yes to take my 'cue' and realize that the suffering, the embarrassment, the shame, was all written, directed, and acted out by me. Life becomes fun and amusing when I hold this to be true; where I an take a moment after an event, look about me thoughtfully, and joyfully say "...And scene!"
*Dave is a counsellor with Choose Again, offering sessions in Vancouver
“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” ~ Dalai Lama
There is a certain selective mentality among the spiritual community that in order to be free from one’s past conditioning, one must, as Poonja would say, “only travel with those in the same boat...going in the same direction.”
What I find challenging about this point of view is that it comes off as not only severely limiting with whom I associate with, but moreover, it takes on a sense of ultimate authority over what is considered ‘the right way’ of living. Ignorance breeds arrogance.
What I also recognize within this hard-nosed mentality is a desire to completely cast out one’s past in order to make way for a ‘new life’; to abandon ship of old friendships and environments to more agreeable, greener pastures. The thing is, there is only One boat, and we are all in this together. Happiness will not come from the abolition of the past, but its reconciliation. It’s crowded here, and if I happen to be bumping shoulders with someone, what better way to start a dialogue?
I realize this may come off as grand-standing, but it is more an acknowledgement; a confession. I too harbour these traits of being 'uber-spiritual' or moral-police to the world from time to time. Instead of suppressing it, it's time to rock the boat baby.
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” ~ Jim Rohn
This reminds me of a Buddhist adage that states that “If you are not happy now, you will never be.” This does not mean one does not have goals or desires, but if I cling to these things and subvert my attention to future rewards, life becomes a harrowing journey of struggle--a means to an end, which has no ending. Life is short; so if I am going to do anything, I am determined to find satisfaction in the process, and become a co-creator of well-being with my environment.
Diederik Wolsak is program director at Choose Again