Sunday, February 26, 2012

Conquering dislike.


When you spend time with someone you care about it can be challenging when you rarely see eye to eye on matters of significance.  And you may, as I do, wish for more compatible fellowship. It’s really nice to feel like who you are is valued by the people in your life.

But there is another side that is hard to embrace: Being with someone who doesn’t value you. That tests my resolve and demands that I examine why they don’t like me. What am I doing, beyond just existing, that encourages their behavior? It is all too easy to blame them. After all can’t they see how wonderful I am? In such moments I can see the inward dragon rising with his ugly head. Mr. Ego is coming into view and that guy wants applause, not disparagement. I don’t like that side of me but if I look closely I can see the benefits of this awkward situation. Unless I want to spend my time around sycophants and birds just like me, it’s in everyone’s best interest to come to terms with the only thing I have control over—Me.

I am the one who causes either acceptance or rejection of me. Nobody else but me creates that. And that takes clear-headed resolve, courage and willingness to take the heat of my own self-assessment to create a better world. Getting rid of my ego is nasty business that entails a path of suffering that leads inevitably to freedom. The Buddha’s words:

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. What we think, we become.”
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