This reblog is wonderful!
Tag Archives: Buddhism
Note to Self:
A little over a week ago, I emailed my ex to see if he would meet me to have a happy closing to our relationship, see my previous reblogged post. With no reponse and some acquired inner peace, I decided to retract my request.
Last night, I sent him a somewhat wine-induced email that I hope read as beautifully poetic, but who knows. I wrote it for me, thanking him and speaking my one last piece/peace, then it was goodbye. I felt good when I hit send! My heartbeat was regular, my thoughts on good realities. Sleep came easy.
As I was scribbling notes for my book in Bryant Park, I got a reply from him. Instantly, my heart stampeded and my thoughts began to howl. I steadfastly returned to finish my thoughts on book, claiming my present once more.
Before I let myself read the response, I demanded an examination of my reaction from Mind. Dutifully, We identified thoughts and their effect, We agreed to eat some food to counter the caffeine jitters (which only aggravate anxiety!) and We came to see there was a competition afoot!
Without contact, I have been free to make up many stories about my ex which all basically assume he is worse off without me than I am without him. This has regrettably brought me satisfaction. So I want to think I am doing better than he is.
His response basically confirmed what I had thought he would say: he doesn’t need any closure from me like I was asking for from him. I was furious! And why?
I have become competitive about grieving! I want to be better, faster…etc.
That is silly. I am so glad I took the time to write out my thoughts. Now I can remind myself to cease with this comparison and be happy for him and happy for myself. I have been moving on, and as my ex said, in my own way…but it is more important to focus on what I have gained now. I am good, my life is good and I have no regrets for how I have treated my ex. I forgive him and I forgive myself for all that needs forgiveness.
May we both be free from harm,
May we both be happy,
May we both be healthy and
May we both live with ease.
Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness, on mudita, “sympathetic joy,” or joy for others’ happiness, and one of the four brahma-viharas:
“Mudita depends on rapture, on our capacity to take active delight in things- and this depends upon our ability to actually let ourselves feel joy. We have to let go of feeling guilty about our own happiness or feeling threatened that it will be taken from us.”
When we can allow true happiness into our lives we can genuinely rejoice when other people are as well. Sometimes I think it has been easier for me to be happy for others, because I believed I needed too much to be happy for it ever to be true.
I was pursuing the wrong happiness for myself while at the same time experiencing real happiness for others. But as a grabbing, attachment-making person, I then came to believe making people happy was the way to my happiness. This is also not the way.
My true happiness is beckoning me to drop my needs, let go of my attachments, come the other direction. Happiness comes the stillness and openness of our being. Happiness is easy now.
Let me first commend you for taking the bold step of starting to date again! Well done! I know you were very anxious about dating again, because you prefer being in a relationship to searching for one. Let Us take a moment, to remind Our Self that attitude matters so much when dating. If you can approach dating with an excitement, thinking, “I may meet a great love today!” you can transform your dating jitters into something far more enjoyable.
I am not sure what part of Us can take responsibility for Our dreams, but We had a nightmare last week about this blind date. So many factors in the dream led to greater and greater anxiety before even meeting the date, so Our dream self was in no fit for anything…and We woke up with our physical heart thumping and the rest of Us very unsettled. To avoid having the chance to get anxious We scheduled the date right after a discussion of the Tao Te Ching (and I was actually a bit late as a result).
I came to the date, fully present and engaged, practicing Buddhism’s lovingkindness for this other individual who was seeking love. We were both searching for happiness, both for the evening and for our future. I came without expectation, without desperation, without a need to find a body to touch, or a heart to love. My attention was open, come what may.
So, Heart, you were open, but i also sense you were guarded in some small way…but no, that cannot be true. What I can see as being guarded is just less desperate and eager to find love. You were calm! It is amazing to see how you have evolved.
Our Mind was quite entertained and engaged by our date, wouldn’t you agree? The conversation flowed well and was deep while still being quite playful. Mind was definitely intrigued, but thankfully, not the only part of Us that was engaged…
A truly important feature to the experience of human love is physical chemistry. And, Body was not feeling intrigued by this date. Basically, Body was enjoying the wine and not expecting to be called up to bat on a first date. I had made it clear that I was not someone what wanted physical intimacy on a first date. Well, our date decided to kiss me, and We let it happen, but Body was shocked by the absolute absence of any feeling in response!
How many times have we all heard that the first kiss can really help determine if there is chemistry? I only partially bought it…I never had fireworks explode on a first kiss, but I have had bad ones before…but mostly I knew already that I was not interested before those former kisses occurred. Mind thought We wanted to see this man again, Heart was waiting to be more appealed to, but Body vetoed this poor man absolutely! Our kiss was so bad, that my lips did not feel like they were mine, and neither his nor mine felt like living flesh! It was too long for a first-date first kiss and it was not executed well. Our overall opinion went from an optimistic “there is potential here!” to a confident “there will be no second date!” in seconds.
Unfortunately, our first kiss was not our last kiss. He kissed me goodbye in the same way, causing me to endure it out of lovingkindness, but then having to laugh it away after I was safely in the subway station alone.
When this gentleman texted me eagerly this morning to ask for a second date, I had to reflect on how my open,genuine enjoyment of our time together could be perceived by a date as confirmation of equal attraction. I knew I had to refuse his request, but could not anticipate the task with joy. The truth of the matter was, I did enjoy myself, and I was glad to have met him. I think we had lots of things in common, but it was just simply and truly not enough for us to have a romantic relationship. I employed lovingkindness again in my reply.
I am curious, Heart, what you feel is the best way to date with compassion. There is so much advice that recommends being yourself when on a date, but in this world where love is so hard to feel on a day to day basis from strangers around us, I worry that my attitude of lovingkindness is not truly kind to the people who are misinterpreting it to mean I am really interested in them. Mind, is whispering these worries in my ear, so I am going to just say one more thing on this subject…mainly to Mind…
By practicing lovingkindness last night both my date and I had a wonderful night. By practicing lovingkindness as I told my date I was not interested in pursuing our relationship further, I received a very lovely and respectful response that seemed to only express gratitude as well. So my dears, let Us continue to practice lovingkindness, since it seems to be working just fine!
I want to help you deal with this situation, but all my ideas don’t seem to help you, I want to take action, stand up for you. I feel like your big brother and I just want to go fight the problem, because I hate to see you hurting. I am not too good with just listening to you, letting you cry. I am trying though, and I hope you can tell.
So, here is what I understand about how you are feeling; let me prove to you I was paying attention this time:
We have already determined you are hurting over this break-up, but I also get this idea that you still love him. I think that is so weird. Can’t you just stop that? This would all be over then? Well, anyways, this love may be different than the love you had before, right? You are learning to transform the love you offered actively to love that you feel for all beings. I think that is what you said, I can understand that, I guess.
You must be struggling to do that though, because I know you want to be able to take him back. You want it, even though we both know that it wouldn’t be a good idea. I know our Self has been helping you understand that you were doing too much in that relationship for us all to be healthy. We want you to still love our Self too. I hope I have helped you understand that you are ready for a big Love and none of us here think that guy was ready for it himself.
I know you have a much shorter memory than I do, so I want to offer you my services whenever you need it, to remember how much you were hurting towards the end. How much you were trying to get him to notice you again, to love you back even a little. And remember too that you figured it out it was time to leave, you LEFT HIM! All of us are so proud of you for doing that, even though you hated doing it so much. We remember your pain then too!
You are such a wonderful Heart! You have so much love to give, and you were doing all you could for him, and he no longer wanted to accept it and give any back to you. That is HIS loss! I am barely holding back my own desire to march over there and DEMAND an explanation, but I know that wouldn’t make you feel better. This is hard for me too. I hate not understanding why this happened. I thought he loved you better than anyone before, and I really saw his potential to become your true partner, but he wasn’t ready for that.
When you wanted to go back to him, back to loving him, I understood that. You thought you had made a mistake and I know you were not the perfect lover in that relationship, so you told him how you felt, and you really wanted to believe he felt like returning to you. I am sorry that I encouraged you to believe him then. If I had my say in who you love, it would be someone that doesn’t confuse ME so much, but I know it is not fully up to me.
Your anger at him makes so much sense too, dear Heart. It was a shock when you returned from that trip to hear him being so cavalier about your feelings. Perhaps he showed his true colors to you then. Something I read recently made me think of you: I was reading Sharon Salzberg’s Lovingkindness and she said that passion and sentimentality can both be confused for real love. The way she described sentimentality made me think of how he treated you. Let me see if I have the quote…
“Sentimentality, the other mental state that masquerades as love, is really an ally of delusion. It is a facsimile of caring that limits itself only to experiences of pleasure.”
-Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness
Do you recall, how he did not want to deal with you when things got difficult or challenging? He would run away from problems and always said everything was OK, even when it wasn’t. He is not ready for LOVE if that is how he deals with you. Hopefully, you have helped him get a little closer to being able for that, Heart.
Just stay strong, and heal. We all know how to give you your space, and I hope you come to us for support if you need it. Remember to pay attention to yourself, perform the act of loving (which you do so well) for your own benefit.