Kind, Respectful Individual Seeks Same

I have to admit that I recently realized that I had a bit an obsession with running into a couple of people I hardly know, just so I could give them a piece of my mind for having had a part in hurting someone I care deeply for. To give you a little perspective, this incident happened several months ago, and although the individual at the receiving end of the pain has moved on, I’ve been holding onto a grudge the size of Jupiter. You can imagine that this hasn’t been a very pleasant thing to do, and from time to time has distracted me from focusing on the important things in my life – like staying present with those I love. Not to mention that the offending individuals have had no idea what’s been circulating through my mind and therefore have gone on with their lives, seemingly unaffected.

The reason I bring this up is that in sitting myself down and really looking at the situation I came to realize – aside for my anger at their hurting someone I love – that I wanted to hold them accountable for their actions. I wanted to hear them apologize. I wanted them to fully grasp the repercussions of their actions. And I wanted to know if they had learned from their mistake – or if they even viewed it as a mistake in the first place. Basically, I was projecting my own standards of decency upon them, and was very attached to them holding the same standards. It was then that I realized that – whether I feel someone’s actions are wrong or not – everyone has the right to choose how they interact in the world. That’s what free will is all about. And I knew for my own peace of mind it was time to let it go.

We all make mistakes and do things we later regret – we’re human, and like it or not, that’s often how we learn. But when you find yourself confronted with someone whose standards of compassion are completely out of synch with yours it can be unsettling, especially when they appear to lack any concern for the pain they’ve caused. Though at the end of it all the most we can do is hold ourselves accountable for our own actions, and be forgiving of those who make amends for their human errors. We owe it to ourselves and everyone else to be as kind, considerate and respectful as possible. And when someone pops up that can’t or won’t deliver, it just might be time to let them go – whether they’re physically present or just swirling around in your head. 

Here’s to focusing on those who really count…

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Pain is the result of moral standards that have been compromised that one sets for oneself. These standards are different for each individual and are subject to cultural background and familial identity. One is not born with these standards, one is taught these standards. Oftentimes these standards are created as a means for a society to keep its members acting within certain behavioral boundaries. When one knowingly engages in acts that are harmful to another – without fear of consequence – the individual acts through disconnect of their spiritual self. This leads to disharmony in relationships and slows the evolution of humanity, as the actions of each individual are valuable to the whole.

It is the individual who has no need for such standards as a means of behavioral control – yet chooses to interact with those around them with loving kindness that are the most enlightened. To act from the perspective of love for another as a way of life – not as a rigid condition – is the purest form of human connection.”

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Featured Guest: Thich Nhat Hanh

This week I’ll leave you with a quote from Zen Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh:  Listening to and understanding our inner sufferings will resolve most of the problems we encounter.