Having recently experienced a quite severe, drawn out emotional trauma at the hands of a very confused 40 year old boy, I am finally regaining my bearings and my perspective on life is becoming more realistic (although slightly more jaded than I had hoped) and unusually for once, healthy *whoa!*. Massive and excessive amounts of soul searching has yielded wonderful results for me, along with a few frightening realizations about my new perspective on dating, love and people in general. (Still a work in progress.....)
I'm hoping that someday all of my random jumping around and partial stories will all come together for my dear readers, like a good book. I'm hoping the drama of the past 5 years (divorce, relocation to another state, murder of mother, relocation to a new city, 4 different jobs, childhood trauma being revealed to me, finding out the person I trusted was the LAST person I should have trusted, etc....) is nearing it's end and leaving an amazing finale of strength and a view into the durability of the human spirit.
I have discovered Buddhism. Yes, Buddhism. Being a previously loosely termed eclectic sort of Agnostic Athiest and part time Pastafarian (haha!) after a long run with Paganism, this has been an amusing change for me. I have not discovered Buddhism in the terms of now I worship Buddha and am following dogma of any kind (more Karma--my karma ran over my dogma *heh*), it's more the principles, ideals, and teachings that draw me.
I initially received more in depth education on Buddhism within a college level World Religions class I took many years ago. Quite honestly, it ended up being the only religion/spiritual belief that made any sense to me other than none at all.
I have learned much through my studies and watching talks on YouTube given by Buddhist monks. Ajahn Brahm is amazing with a great sense of humor! The video "Four Ways of Letting Go" *below* sparked my journey into deeper study of this spirituality and way of thinking.
Ajahn Brahm tells a simple story with a very profound truth. It was like a slap in the face when the simplicity yet enormity of it hit me (kind of like in Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, the flyswatter scene). He tells a story of a young monk walking through the forest with a more experienced monk. The more experienced monk picks up a stick and asks the younger monk if the stick is heavy. The younger monk replies that yes, it is. The older monk drops the stick and asks "Is it heavy now?". (*flyswatter - to the face*). Seriously. I felt like I dropped a huge load of psychological garbage just with this one realization.
Of course, a new frame of mind and new thought processes are difficult and energetically taxing to implement as I have been learning. Considering that physiologically your brain creates neural pathways which can and do ingrain thought processes, it's been a difficult task "re-wiring". The process of release and forgiveness brings such joy and inner peace I am saddened that I hadn't discovered/implemented it many years ago. It has been well worth the struggle. Considering the people and situations I have had to forgive it has been akin to pushing a boulder 10 times my size up a mile long 18% grade hill. Exhausting and probably impossible applying the laws of physics.
I did briefly entertain the idea of waiting for my son to graduate high school and then running off to join a monastery but I enjoy sex too much to become celibate, although given the quality (NOT!) of the men I seem to run across in my life it may not be a bad choice.
Anyway, here is what I have learned:
- Anger at someone else only hurts me.
- Letting go of things (small and big) makes life so much easier.
- Understanding that people have their own motivations and their own gain in mind (a majority of people), I have learned to not take things so personally.
- IMPERMANENCE! Nothing is permanent, everything is fleeting! Life, relationships, attachments, material possessions, situations, everything.
- Detachment is crucial to happiness. This is not to say that one should detach themselves fully from everything. A certain level of detachment is healthy, and can lead to a wonderful space of peace.
- Live for right now, this very moment. It is all you really have. Your past is done, and ruminating over it does no good. Worrying for the future does not help on the path to happiness either. Obviously you want to consider things like finances, education, retirement, etc. Learn to go with the flow, and I assure you, your mind and heart will thank you for it. ~ In the application of this principal, I actually found myself on the road to California, out of gas between Yuma and Phoenix laughing my ASS OFF! Maybe I should have thought of my future a little more and got gas in Gila Bend? LOL! ~
My life has been better for application of all of the above ideas. Everyone is on their own journey, and I respect that. I just hope that maybe I can help someone by sharing a part of mine <3 p="">