“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affectation for a few people near us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” From Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh:
my own nature is so very intrinsically woven into my thoughts and feelings. i am in my fifties and yet i get flooded by such passionate reactions to events and situations in my life. there are times i feel i am the most fortunate being on the planet. i have survived the holocaust of my generation and have been left without much damage or scars. i have seen the issues that created internalized shame and trauma for me brought out into the light and felt many of the shadows dusted off.
but i also remain so childlike in some ways which contributes to the perpetuation of the flibbertigibbety side of my person. when conflict comes forward as it continues to do, my instinct is to run. this is most definitely based on a primal fear of shame because i will be seen in full light and my true nature exposed. i think despite my hard work to become an “enlightened’ soul, i still consider myself as hideous, somehow broken, and unloveable.
although i know better, i still go to those primal survival thoughts first and have to climb down from the bridge or tree to get back on solid ground. i am in that cycle now. i feel that i am spending much of my time with the company those who are driven by forces i perceive as dark. there is much talk of caring, trauma-aware, and person centeredness. however my experience keeps redirecting me to see things as self-serving, trauma-creating, and person last.
and this post along with this weekend are focused on the “right” next step and what that might be. the options seem to reduce down to these. this is completely part of my own labyrinth i walk. these questions… and this dance…. are repeatedly part of my path.
do i leave the situation because it is au reboir my nature and beliefs?
do i stay to work for change and run the risk of becoming locked into what i find distasteful?
neither seems like a win right now. guess i better walk it around the block again.
“…I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion, and elimination of ignorance, selfishness, and greed…” His Holiness the Dalai Lama