Ever feel resentful, jealousy and unhappiness about someone else's happiness? I am sorry to say, I felt this way for many years, about my husbands love of footy. While I am tempted, even now to feel guilty about my behaviour, I know that guilt serves not useful purpose. Guilt is just another way to worry about myself as I explored in the Difference between Guilt and Regret post. So lets explore a more helpful way to deal with regret about past footy resentment.
I am thankful to remember and apply amore useful practice. Many years ago in my study of Buddhism I was introduced to a wonderful practice, called the Four Powers or Four Forces. The Four Powers is a conscious cleaning exercise and a wonderful way to deal with regrets like past resentment or any things we have done, we are not happy about having done.
Going over and over feeling bad about past misdeeds, like my footy resentment, jealousy and unhappiness, makes me unhappy and ruins my peace of mind. Feeling guilty is all about me, and how bad I feel and does not give me the opportunity to do anything about it! Regret, on the other hand is a helpful acknowledgment of a misdeed and implies wanting to do something about making amends.
So instead of feeling guilt over my past resentment over the footy, applying the Four Forces would be a much more helpful thing to do. The Four Forces, is like removing an unhappy mind weed of resentment, and planting a new happy mind flower seed in its place. The Four Forces can be easily remembered with words that begin with R. (And there is an important 5th Force - Rejoicing). So here they are applied to my past footy resentment. Of course all this is happening in my own head. It may not be helpful to tell my husband what I am up to
I now know it is never helpful to feel unhappy about someone else's happiness (or to feel guilty about the times I have - Four Powers Yay). I know when things are going right for me and someone else is unable to be happy for me it feels yucky - so I will do my best to be happy for others when things are going right for them. Go Hawks!!
As we discussed last week in order to change past unhelpful habits it is helpful to have......
I am so grateful to those wonderful teachers and friends who have helped me get over negative, unhelpful habits and be a more positive, happy force in the world and to do my best to be of benefit.