Sunday, September 29, 2013

From expansion and contraction into stillness

I find this image endearing: the little bush, so different from the trees around it, bravely flaunting its bare branches -- and all so perfectly reflected in the still water...  Obviously I am projecting some aspect of myself into the picture -- but of course we are always projecting some aspect of ourselves onto what we see. 

...which means that when we are hugely upset about someone else's behaviors we can pretty much assume that something they're doing is resonating with some inner awareness of our own failings. But if we take the time to acknowledge that, it's easy to get buried in self-recriminations: if I can't blame you, then I have to blame myself. No wonder we prefer not to go there; it hurts to look that closely at ourselves.  And so instead of shrinking inward we turn our attention outward again, spilling over into anger.

The only thing I've found that transforms those relentless waves of expansion and contraction into stillness is to get in touch with the deep well of love that lies beneath the waves: once we can find the heart to be tender with our own failings, it's much easier to be tolerant of others.  We really need to make time to do that.  Where will you find the time today?

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