Not taking things personally

Would you get mad at a snail for eating your lovingly-planted greens in your garden? Would you stay mad and hold a grudge? You probably wouldn’t take it too personally.

This is exactly how to respond to people who offend you. They don’t know what they are doing. They haven’t the adequate level of realization to do otherwise, so view them the way you would view any living being that is incapable of knowing better. Such people are like a mosquito that stings you. A wasp buzzing around your window. A hassle that produces temporary discomfort.

You can get briefly angry, frustrated, or annoyed. But if a snail, mosquito, or wasp affects you deeply and lastingly, you are only handing them the power to keep you suffering.

This is how we have to view people in our lives who irk us. Not looking down at them as if they were some pest, of course, but to accept that they have their limitations. Everyone does, including ourselves. Everyone is incapable of something, and that something could very well be what irks you. They would do better if they knew better, believe me. And we would do better if we knew better as well. Just like that snail slobbering over your precious greens, they can’t help it.

Understanding this is crucial in developing the skill of not taking things personally. What do you take personally? Would you like to change that?

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Why lessons learned are never repeated

Any unfortunate event you go through is something that you absolutely must make worth your while. After all, it’s taking up your time and energy, likely giving you some kind of pain or disruption.

So instead of viewing what you have to deal with negatively like hating it or resisting it, the only way to make it worth your attention and effort is to seize the opportunity to become wiser, more empowered, and better for it. Get something big out of it. Learn your lesson.

Once you have learned the lesson, eventually you will get an opportunity to see if you really learned. Perhaps a similar event will occur again, or a situation will develop that will test you to see how you would react.

For example, if you have problems dealing with authority because of not getting along with your parents as a child, then you will inevitably run into someone in a higher position with whom you will have a hard time working with. You assume this person must be some kind of tyrant and hard to get along with. But you notice others don’t view this person the same way…why?

Because they don’t need the lesson — you do. They have their own lessons to learn that you may not need as well. However, once you have learned the lesson in dealing with authority, then the next time you encounter someone in authority you have to work with, you will not react the way you used to, but in a new and better way. Any encounter with authority figures will be easier and easier on you, with practice. Once you’ve mastered this, you will have completed the lesson and passed the test. Then, you won’t ever be tested by this again.

Why is it that a gentle, peaceful person never has to learn the lesson of staying away from fights at a bar? It’s because this person does not need this lesson. So once you’ve passed the test, after some practice if necessary, then you’re no longer triggered by the event. You won’t need the lesson anymore. When you’re not triggered, the event has no effect on you. Something that has no effect on you might as well be invisible.

This is why lessons that are learned are never repeated. The events become easy to deal with for you and quickly so.  And most likely, you are busy focused on more difficult lessons because they take up more of your time and attention.

Say for example, once upon a time, rude people bugged the hell out of you. You learned how to respond to them, and now you don’t even think about them anymore because you’re working on navigating a relationship with a difficult family member. Compared to this person, rude people are a piece of cake.

Passing your lessons takes you to more advance ones. But this means you are moving long and resolving your karma, step by step. Let this be your motivation to learning.

What are you going through now that might be an opportunity to learn? What is the lesson?

Benefits of being social and being alone

There are people who hate being alone, and there are people who hate being with people. Both can be problematic.

Benefits of Being Social and Being Alone

Being with others allows you to see life through someone else’s lenses. You get to know them, and also get to see yourself through their angle and know yourself better.

Being with others is also a way to distract yourself from your own movie and participate in their movie for a while. Sometimes it’s nice to make a movie together and experience something you can’t do alone.

On the other hand, when you’re by yourself, you get to hear your thoughts more clearly and come to conclusions without outside input that might not align with your true desires or who you are. You get to act naturally and make choices according to your authentic self without judgment and influence from other people.

Aversion to Harmless Circumstances

Socializing and being in solitude are actually harmless situations in and of themselves, and having an aversion to either one of them simply makes life harder than it has to be.

Aversion to harmless circumstances creates too many opportunities for misery. Unless it’s a potentially dangerous situation, both knowing how to be social and knowing how to be alone are good skills to have.

For Anti-Socials

Finding joy in existence itself is the answer to becoming less averse to social situations. What is existence? It is life. It is just knowing you are. Find inspiration, peace, love, delight, or simple appreciation in that. And carry that with you in all social situations. See the same existence you appreciate in others.  See the common thread of being. If you are not averse to your beingness, you aren’t averse to their beingness. You can more easily bring your beingness with theirs!

Remember also, that wherever you are on earth, there are billions of people around you. Sure, inside your house when you’re alone, you can’t see all those people. But turn on the television, they are there. It’s a matter of perspective. A pilot flying above your house can see your neighbors mowing their lawn and people walking about the next street and town over. You’re never totally alone.

Don’t forget that the “you” that you prefer to be with is always with you. You can’t lose it no matter how many people are around you. Find that joy it gives you and relax into it.

For the Solitude-Averse

Likewise, when people hate being alone and constantly seek others to be with and do things with, they believe someone else holds the key to their happiness. Perhaps they can’t imagine their kids growing up and leaving home. Perhaps the thought of losing their partner fills them with anxiety and fear. Constantly seeking the company of others just to avoid being alone takes away opportunities to discover inner qualities that others can’t offer them. Or they believe that taking on the input and drama of others helps to divert attention from their own problems.

Who is that self that is so scary, horrible, or boring to be with?

If someone who hates being alone can find the curiosity to get to know himself or herself little by little, a whole fascinating journey could open up. Yes, there might be some scary things to look at, but when dealt with, perhaps they will cease to be as scary as previously imagined. A golden opportunity would begin.

When you’re enjoying life itself, aversion to socializing or being in solitude is gone. It’s best not to be averse to either one, and be adept at both.

 

 

 

Peace is not for the dead

A long time ago I used to say, “Peace is for the dead.” But that was when I equated drama with excitement, like going to a movie and getting entertained.

With enough tripping and falling, I woke up to the fact that no, peace is not for the dead but for the living. And it’s because humans don’t experience enough peace that so much agony and conflict get created.

A person without peace is a person who can create a lot of problems for others. We all know that even when 49 of the 50 employees at the office get along fine with each other, that one who is toxic will poison the entire atmosphere and ruin relationships.

Like a single drop of toxin ruining a whole tank of water, it just takes one single unhealthy person to destroy whatever harmony and good efforts of the rest of the 49.

Want to solve the world’s problems? Experience peace. Want to make life easier for others? Achieve your own peace first.

Don’t focus so much on what’s wrong with the world. What is going on in yourself?

Now that’s not to say peace is the ONLY thing that will help. Getting fired up to make changes helps. Getting angry even helps to get fired up about doing something. But STAYING angry won’t help.

There’s truth in the song that goes, “Let peace begin with me.”

Why change your karma?

If you are not bothered by learning the same lessons over and over, which frequently require suffering, then there is no need to change your karma. Keep on going as you are.

However, if you want to resolve your problems and issues, and experience less suffering and more peace in this lifetime, then it is time to change your karma before you exit your present physical body.

Karma affects not just one aspect of one’s life, but different aspects. Everyone may have one part of their life going well while another part is breaking down. For example, someone with good financial karma, as in being successful in their business, could have bad relationship karma. When I say “good”, I mean desirable or healthy, depending on the situation. Saying something is good or bad in this case is just qualifying the situation in terms of what is optimal and what isn’t.

Having good karma in one department does not undo bad karma in another department. You have to deal with each category independently.

That being said, good karma does not protect you from the bad karma of others. Lots of people undeservingly get harmed or killed by others. Good karma only prevents you from having to repeat the lessons of what you already know.

Remember, also, that some unfortunate events have nothing to do with a specific karma. Life has its downs — that’s par for the course. An example is when you’re driving on your way to work and someone hits you. You obeyed all traffic signals and didn’t do anything wrong. Neither did you ever hit anyone else in your whole life, nor did you wish someone else to be hit. Things happen.

What to change is what you CAN change, such as thinking, attitude, perspective, and behavior. Is it time to forgive yourself? Love yourself? Stand up for yourself? Set healthy boundaries? Make amends? Express gratitude toward someone? Show someone you care?

What is karma?

Karma is a consequence visited upon you due primarily to your thoughts, feelings, words and actions.

Each of these is an energetic force and produces a reaction. Thoughts and feelings are powerful, and they can produce a physical effect on your body. Others can feel your vibration as well. Your spoken words and actions are powerful in that they generate a reaction in those around you.

Karmic residue can be accumulated lifetime after lifetime if the issues are not dealt with and resolved, thus its resolution is postponed.

You might have different types of karma but one lifetime may not be sufficient in resolving all of it. Perhaps it involves a deceased person who needs to be in your life again. Perhaps it involves you being younger, thus rebirth would be required.

Karma is as natural and basic to universal life as the laws of physics. There is no way to avoid karma or bypass it. You may not be aware of karma, but it is certainly aware of you and keeps you involved in facing the consequences of your thoughts, utterances, feelings, and actions.

Sometimes the consequences seem minor and thus do not alert you sufficiently to cause you to make changes. However, this does not negate the fact that you will have to deal with it down the road, if not in this lifetime.

Karma is neutral. It is the ultimate equalizer in that it does not discriminate nor is it random.

What karma are you aware of in your life right now?