#38 – Don’t seek others’ pain as the limbs of your own happiness.
Don’t build your happiness on the suffering of others.
At first with this thought today I was quick to recall those who built their happiness on my pain. One by one, each entered my mind as I catalogued the hurts, slings, and arrows into my heart and how they succeeded in my suffering and their happiness.
Each time this arose in my mind throughout the day, I held gently and kindly the emotions that would appear in my heart. I practiced RAIN (Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Nurture) and nurtured myself and released each one.
What was more challenging was a memory that surfaced from over 25 years ago. Back then, I was afraid of abandonment, and dead set on a decision that was obviously selfish. Part of me did not want to look at the possible outcomes of my decision or those that I would cause suffering, hurt and sadness. And it did.
Several years ago, the I was confronted with the suffering as it was revealed to me in heartbreaking fashion with emotional outbursts by the parties involved. I felt ashamed and guilt-ridden and honestly and authentically offered by deepest apologies and proceeded to do what I could to mend the relationships. Thankfully, that succeeded.
As it rose once again many years later in my mind, I experienced the same guilt, shame and suffering. It was like a huge ocean wave about to crash upon me. Yet this time in my life I was able to ride the wave by my mindful loving awareness, by my presence to what is in the moment, and to do so with loving-kindness. I expressed my remorse, yet understanding that it occurred at a time when I was not who I am now. As I continued to be with my mindful process, the wave calmed and the dove of peace landed in front of me.
I am grateful for choosing at this time to work with these compassion slogans in mind-training. I had no idea of what I would discover but I am so appreciative. All is in perfect order for my own healing.
Pema Chödrön’s Compassion Cards – This practice is lojong (mind-training slogans) and they are powerful reminders on how to awaken our hearts. They are also found in “The Compassion Book.” You choose the cards at random, read the commentary, and then try to live by the meaning of the slogan throughout the day.