Monday, April 8, 2013
A Challenge For My Mindfulness
Living mindfully each and every day is something I constantly aspire to do. Life is so short and so sweet, I want to experience every moment in the fullest way possible. I do not want to spend a single minute of this miraculous life in fruitless worry or anxiety. I mean, I do spent minutes on that, but I don't want to. I strive to spend as few as possible on such worthless endeavors. And trust me, worrying, fretting, and living in anxiety does nothing good for you as far as I can see.
I think one of the most difficult parts of living mindfully is you must open your eyes fully and honestly to your own faults and failings. Then you must take those difficult and often hard to admit findings and turn it in to love and compassion for yourself. You see, if you want to practice loving kindness for anyone else, you must practice it on yourself first. If you don't love yourself, it is impossible to love others with a true heart and unconditional love.
I find that my ego is never far away. It is always ready to jump in and lead me into the fray. With my ego, there is ALWAYS a fray. Le sigh. My ego is happy to push my most stellar qualities to the forefront. You see I can be arrogant, self absorbed, judgmental, just know I know better than anyone else, impatient, and my favorite, not really listening to someone speaking to me just waiting (impatiently) for my turn to speak again. There are more but that is a good start. My ego proudly displays all of these for the world to see. Now before you send me private messages about being too hard on myself know I can easily name off twenty things I love about myself at the drop of a hat. This is just an honest and realistic assessment.
But what do you do with this information?? I think the most common things are too either beat ourselves up, berate ourselves, or maybe even explain them all away or manage to blame the whole thing on someone else. But anyone of these options are missing the point. To live mindfully you must be honest AND practice loving kindness with yourself.
I find that treating these antics with and amused indulgence is one of the quickest way to dissipate my ego and allow my true self to return to the forefront. My ego doesn't seem to like being treated like naughty but amusing child. It would prefer to be treated much more seriously. But how can I when it is acting up like that??
This may not be the "right" way but it is the way that works for me and promotes personal growth. I have found that focusing on the personal transgression does nothing but make the entire situation worse and makes me feel worse. Then there is the whole problem of people who feel bad, act bad. Well I find it to be true.
How does it unpack in the real world? Today I was at a big box store and was not feeling completely on for a variety of reasons. Due to a misunderstanding I snapped irritably at a stranger. Moments after I walked away I realized I had behaved in a very unloving manner and it was a misunderstanding to boot. I could have beat myself up or berated myself about what a horrible, worthless person I was. I could have convinced myself it at all been HER fault. Instead, I thought "Oh ego, you slipped in again." Then I wandered all around the store to find this woman and apologize to her. She was overjoyed. I had made amends. After I explained to my kids, aka witnesses to the mess momma had made, what I had done wrong and how I had went about fixing it, I did the the most important thing....I dropped it.
Then will a smile on my face and with peace in my heart, I went about my day.