Today’s post will be a short one. Before I wrote this, I came across a fantastic photographer whose photos I’d like to insert throughout this post. ❤
Two weeks ago, I set a couple of intentions in order to practice self forgiveness – to practice loving self-talk and to write about feelings of guilt. I followed through with both of these only once or twice. And the writing I only did just now.
After coming into an altercation with a loved one, the idea of self forgiveness evaporated from my mind. The details of this I won’t go into.
The past few days have been spent in confusion. I made lots of silly mistakes at work. Nothing has been making sense to me; apart from a conclusion I came to when I did some journalling half an hour ago.
People will get the wrong idea about you. They might infer something from your words and intentions that isn’t there. This does not have to change the way you see this person or the love you feel for them.
Love as a solution sits comfortably with me. Towards the end of my journalling, I started to write down all the things I love about this person. The pain in my chest started to soften.
When explaining yourself or apologising is an impossibility, when the pain another is experiencing is so strong that it is spilling over onto you and when you feel altogether distant from a person you used to be so close to – sending out your love and healing can bring peace. This is choosing to soften rather than harden in response to pain – this is bodhichitta.
“We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us. We always have this choice.” – Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You
Closing off is a normal response to difficulty (in fact I have a post on this topic if anyone’s interested) and it’s one that’s often encouraged by others. It’s not very often that we hear: “Maybe they’re hurting, approach the situation with compassion”. Responding with aggression can seem like the best course of action sometimes because we’re standing up for ourselves and surely this will prevent more pain coming our way? Maybe in the short term.
Personally, I alternate between closing off and staying open depending on what it is that’s hurting me. I’m learning. But this is the first time I’ve managed to stay open in this kind of situation that is so close to my heart and for this I feel blessed. The flower of bodhichitta opened when I was at my most vulnerable, writing about my emotions. Maybe I haven’t forgiven myself yet for unwittingly causing another pain but I’ve chosen to respond with love over fear and that’s arguably more important.
Thank you for reading. ❤
– SMUT. ❤ xxxx