Thanks to helpful comments from bloggers, friends, and today’s Buddhist newsletter by Om Swami —I started fresh. Ahh, there it is, relief, a sense of peace and gratefulness, centeredness, the ability to enjoy my gardens, birds, and the meadow again. But it does take work. My body systems can get so out of whack by seemingly little things, but are not simple.
When others are invasive, disrespectful, and hurtful by choice, to get even, or give a payback, I become anxious and feel as I’m re-living the feelings of being in my birth family. They want something from me I won’t or can’t give, so they even the score, keep at me to show me, or until I give in. I know this about others. I learned in childhood what people are capable of.
I take their actions in as if they were my own, as if I have been bad. Because I feel bad at how I am treated. The old message of ‘I must be bad’ comes crashing in, or really has never left. I just have to work every day on it.
That is what troubles me. That others would take an adversarial, intentionally hurtful approach because I will not give what they want. It’s my fault. If I trusted I wouldn’t have these problems. I am reserved, and hold myself back unless I feel comfortable giving of myself. And there is nothing wrong with that, it is a very good and necessary approach to keep myself safe. Going immediately to self-blame is the faulty thinking I work so hard to confront, but lose my way when feeling attacked or invaded. Trust issues shredded in childhood deserve compassion, gentleness and understanding. Others cause me pain, and I gang up with the bullies against myself.
Just because others take a vendetta type attack with their words and actions doesn’t mean it’s me. It’s about them. My job is not to retaliate. No easy job. I have spent too much time retaliating, wanting justice for crimes. And every person since my brothers represented more crimes, more injuries. Too many of my actions, decisions and behaviors were not self-directed, nor my ‘true nature,’ but rather in response to other’s behaviors. Other people have ‘stuff’ too. It is not always me. I do not have to get even.
Om Swami’s words today gave me pause. Worry? Or have the courage to enjoy the moments of your life, even as all the hassles come and go which one can’t control anyway. Worrying is a habit he says. I can be like a gerbil in a wheel. Over and over, I think and re-think what this person has done, reminding me of how I felt in childhood, and more so, focusing on the hurt, feeling it as a constant, unable to let it go as an offense undeserved. Those need to be released back into the Universe where they belong. Once I’m able to release that person’s grip on my mind, another one (or two) eventually comes along to take up residence.
Stop. Thought stopping. Oh that. Time to work on that again. I do not want to be stuck on a person and how they hurt me, especially the intentional part. It’s a groove I slip back in to all too easily. That’s their stuff, and has nothing to do with me.
Acceptance plays a part in maintaining equanimity. Accepting changes and difficulty with others, or places and things, is not the same as not fighting for what is right. I often confuse the two. I gave up fighting and lay still as a child, and he took what he wanted. But when grown, all I do is fight because by laying still I failed. It’s hard to sort it all out.
The work is not easy but worth doing. I walked in the meadow doing laps, taking my camera, even finding a four-leaf clover on this glorious day- one of those days you want to keep forever… breezy, sunny cloud puffed skies, and just the right temperature.