Sunday, April 18, 2010


I had no idea my circumstances were that obvious, but I must have been wearing them on my sleeve.

Yesterday five people told me and/or held me and told me they cared and that they were there for me, to help, to do whatever might be needed.  They didn't ask the source of my pain.  Independently, they just seemed to know. 

I will remember yesterday, and I will never forget their kindess and caring. The presents of angels in my life. For a while, they brought me back into the light after a deep hurt.  Tears welled in my eyes at the recognition of their love, as I choked back tears. Not wanting to be human, I swallowed them.

Pain can come riding in on a beautiful white stallion or on the paws of a tiny white kitten.  Pain is pain - no matter the source.

Within its portals, pain changes  your life. Your inner self  becomes a kaleidoscope of changing colors, patterns, and circumstances. It is then we must face the chaos of our own creation.  Ask my best friends.  My life, and I sense all of our lives, to some degree, are like pinball machines, bouncing back and forth between emotions, as we live in reaction to external circumstances.

We allow our personal well being to be contingent upon someone or something else. I know I do. We are happy when things go well and unhappy when they don't.  The problem is, we ultimately have little or no control, in spite of our self-defeating and prodigious efforts to the contrary. The quicksand then shifts and real happiness becomes impossible. 

So here is the question.

Is there the potential for absolute, complete happiness inside of us? 

Perhaps as in Buddhism, true happiness comes when we stand strong and battle the hardships and storms in our lives, the inequities, the messes, the stuff.  Real happiness is linked to pledging ourselves to a grand purpose. 

Okay, supposing this is true, then if we are bound to a great purpose, we should be unaffected by the constant changes that surround us.  I get it, making other people happy will make us happy. But then I have known this all along. Taking that one step further, those that have hurt me are ultimately unhappy.  Works for me!  Living without compassion for others is a shallow existence.  Our happiness is contingent upon doing whatever we can to make others happy. 

So I have been right all along, just looking at it the wrong way. To love and feel compassion for humanity, and in my case 'my soldiers,' is easy. To love an individual is exceedingly more difficult.  As Buddha teaches, to find wisdom we must work to bring out the best in others.  But in so doing, we often find these relationships are a source of our greatest pain and a fulfillment that doesn't last.  Others that come and go in our lives sometimes behave badly causing us pain.  But when you come to realize that this is their problem not ours, it is fundamentally liberating.  We, and we alone, are responsible for the choices we make in our lives, relationships included.  We are looking to others to complete us, when in reality we alone can do that. 

In giving another person control over our emotions, we give up our power. Having someone who hurts us in our lives is unacceptable.


"Buddhism expounds a state of life in which we can enjoy our life under any circumstances."
The Buddha InYour Mirror

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