This fortnights blog explores the third of our misdeeds related to the body. As Lama Marut puts it....
Don't hurt others with your sexual activity - Respect and foster others' relationships.
I love Lama Marut's take on the ten precepts. He tells us that they give us a handbook for life, the rules of the game, that can allow us to avoid major undesirable future worries and create the causes for contentment and peace.
Before we look at this precept I wanted to revisit the 5 Forces (last blog we added a fifth force to our 'Four Forces Practice', REJOICING in our goodness) and forgiveness as a recompense that can transform our misdeeds.
Today is our 36th wedding anniversary and this has got me thinking about the regret I have over the resentment I have built up over so many years. I'm sure those of you who know me would have had your ears bashed with my complaints! I am truly sorry. I think I have done a lot of suppressing of this resentment over the years and lots of inappropriate expression of it too. Now I am not giving myself a hard time over this because at the time I didn't know that suppressing these emotion was so unhelpful. I now know (when I remember!) to allow and accept these emotions and check in with my wise self for what I need to do.
It seems an apt time to I write about applying this 5 forces to my past resentment. So here we go.....
I certainly take refuge in my understanding that creating resentment is no good for anyone, especially me.
I certainly regret doing this. But I have compassion for both myself and others too - we were doing our best with what we knew at the time.
More recently I have become more aware of my resentful and controlling, fixing behaviour and have been making attempts to restrain from doing it (still a work in progress). I try to restrain from nagging, trying to 'fix' things and giving unsolicited advice (because of course I know what he should do! Not!). It may have been appropriate when my kids were growing up, but now its not. Its time to let them live as they want and need to, without interference, unless of course advice is asked for. Through learning to be more accepting of myself and my humanness I can be more accepting of others and allow them to be who they need to be. I have also been making attempts to understand and express my own needs and understand others needs too, and then let go of expectation. Lots of fun to be had here.
The recompense, or make-up activity that comes to mind is forgiveness. Forgiveness for all including me.
Forgiveness is a very powerful recompense helping us to remove fear and bitterness. As Nelson Mandela says 'Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon'. Forgiving others for past hurt liberates us, clears our conscience and creates peace of mind.
We are all doing our best with what we know at the time. As Maya Angelou says 'Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better'. I am in the process of apologising for my resentful, fixing behaviour and non-acceptance, forgiving others and myself too! I was doing the best I could with what I knew at the time as well.
Forgiveness is an ongoing practice, continually doing it for others and ourselves for all sort of things is so helpful.
This involves rejoicing in or being really happy about having done this practice and to have followed through with the recompense make-up activity. So I'm rejoicing now! Im celebrating letting stuff go, forgiving and doing my best to be aware of not creating future resentment. In Buddhism there is a lovely practice of rejoicing in the good we have done in the world and giving it away or dedicating it to the happiness of others.
Another thing I find really helpful to do, is to stop telling myself old stories. These usually involve never and always. An example of a story I have stopped telling is "X is always disorganised". When I let go of this story and treat every meeting with X like its a new start I can meet, allow and accept them as they are now and interact free of that old story.
I've run out of time and don't want to make this blog too long so we'll take a look at the third of these misdeeds related to the body next blog.
With love, appreciation and very best well wishes to us all