Distraction, delusion, doubt and desire are only a few of the words that can be used to describe what happens when someone does not act in a way that we think they should. Our own mindfulness can easily become judgmental and critical when someone says or does anything that we deem as thoughtless and inconsiderate. And certainly if we have love for ourselves, then we feel valuable and important – deserving of some level of respect and kindness.
But loving ourselves does not mean that we value ourselves above others, nor does it mean our level of mindfulness qualifies any of us to sit in judgement of another’s behavior. In fact, this type of thinking would seem to be empty of mindfulness and solely based on our ego.
Expectations and clinging are the seeds, and stories give root to these poisons which prevent all of us from liberation. And clearly these emotion can seemingly run very deep and lead us to think that these are part of who we are. Since we are what we think, perhaps this delusion becomes reality by our own devises. At this point, we should ask ourselves how this feels. Are we happy, peaceful, content with our situation and circumstance? Do these attachments and expectations cause us to cultivate feelings of goodwill, loving-friendliness and peace?
If not, then perhaps we must make the time to breathe, and observe these formations in our mind. Remembering, “This is not mine, I am not this; this is not my self”. Allowing ourselves the space to see the impermanence of each thought and feeling, and replacing them with seeds of compassion and acceptance.
Mindfulness is not mindfulness when it is projected outwardly toward another living being. It is only developed when focused inwardly with clear attention, intention and virtue.
Try and take a few moments today to sit quietly and think about your difficult people, those whom cause you the greatest disturbing emotions. And with the purest of heart, accept them completely and unconditionally. Offer them your blessings, goodwill and deepest love. This is truly the greatest gift that you can offer them, and more importantly yourself.
Peace be with you.