Heading into my 10pm meditation. Julie is feeling better, Bob is out playing darts, and the house is serene. Appreciating life. Please join me – it’s only ten minutes!
Monthly Archives: February 2014
Day 18 – Forgiveness and The World
Another case where this book becomes wildly vague and expansive in its categories. “The World”? The examples given are politicians and religious groups. The aim is to ponder how we sometimes malign entire groups of people, and why.
I try not to do this. I realize in every group that can traditionally be maligned – politicians, lawyers, used car dealers – that there are people who are honest and good. It’s unfair to harm them, even just through constant teasing, about something they care about. I wouldn’t want someone continually teasing me about being a writer.
I feel a twinge of sadness when I see generally disparaging posts about “all religious people are XXXX” or so on. People have different opinions and that’s OK. If a group acts in a way which infringes on another group’s rights, then legal action can be taken to create the proper boundaries. But being nasty about them personally doesn’t seem to be constructive. They might feel the way they do because they were brainwashed for their entire life by their family and community. That’s hard to undo.
If anything I would feel sympathy that they live in a state of unhappiness and hate. I’d hope that they can find their way out of it. Spending so much energy on fostering hate would, I would think, also fill one’s own body with stress hormones. So it’s not good for others and it’s not good for the source person either.
My aim in these cases would be to look at the person / group’s actions and be able to first say “I disagree with the action”. Then it’s a question of whether I feel their action is harming others or not. If it isn’t, I need to let them hold their own opinion and be at peace with that :). If I do feel their action is harming others – for example if I feel they’re infringing on others’ rights – then I should take some action. I would feel, if I just ranted about it and spread stress around, that I’d damage my own health, I’d damage others’ health, and I wouldn’t be doing much good about the issue I cared about.
So those were my ponderings on “The World” :).
Heading into my 10pm meditation. Today was a blur. With Julie’s frequent pill schedule, I am barely sleeping but barely awake :). Tomorrow Juliet finishes with her kitty-morphine and then things should calm down a bit, once it’s just twice-a-day antibiotics on an even schedule. So I’ll meditate on her healing well.
Day 17b – Forgiveness and Others – Friends
It’s still so strange to me that this “others” category was so massive :). Did her publishers tell her all she had was 21 days and she had to fit everyone in? :).
I’m sure some categories I think are “easy” others find “hard” and vice-versa. To me, friends is quite easy. I have been blessed with incredible friends who I treasure. When I ponder about forgiving friends, I have to go way back, to first grade, to find something. I skipped kindergarten so was a “young kid” in first grade when age issues seem to matter. My two friends used to chase me around at recess calling me “baby Waller” until I cried. Back then teachers thought it was best to let kids work these things out on their own.
This is intriguing to me on various levels. First, I see the events from third person. I don’t remember the in first person. I don’t know that I remember them as much as I remember the memory of them. Next, how does the mind latch onto something that happened so young and consider it important? Surely millions of other things happened to me in those early years that were far more important, that I don’t remember at all. Why do I allow this to linger and impact my adult state? Heck, the girls were just first graders with unformed brains. They’re probably amazing people now. To “blame” them over whatever insecurities they had when they were 6 (or whatever) seems silly.
So, all that aside, my friends over the years have been amazing. Supportive, kind, helpful, and there when I needed them. If anything, I am struck by how a number of them currently are dealing with enormously challenging issues and holding their heads up through them. They are awesomely inspiring. It reminds me every day that, no matter what I’m facing, there are those out there who have far harder things to deal with. The more we all help each other out, the more we all rise and thrive and find joy in these preciously few days we have on Earth. It’s stunningly true that we simply don’t know how long we have. Each day is a gift.
Day 17a / Forgiveness and Others – CoWorkers
I’m breaking this “others” category down into pieces as it is just too big to tackle at once. So today I’ll think about the coworkers category.
I love the BellaOnline editor community and all the editors here. Over the past decade we only rarely have had an editor who is innately grumpy, and usually they fade away on their own. I have learned over the years to try my best, be patient, and to try not to take it personally if someone is cranky. People are shouldering great burdens in life.
So, when I think about “forgiving” coworkers, I have to think further back. If I ponder the topic, there are specific memories that bubble up. For example, when I was barely twenty I worked at a biotech, and after using the restroom my skirt caught in my pantyhose so my entire backside (underwear) was being shown. Two fellow secretaries let me walk right past them like that. I then came past them going in the other direction and a guy gently pointed out the problem to me. The women shrugged and said “we were going to tell you”. Hmmmm, when? I remember being not upset as much as confused. Why wouldn’t they have told me?
In two separate internet jobs I was promised money for work and was simply never paid. They kept stringing me along, having me do more and more work, often under great stress, and in the end I had to walk away without anything. That was frustrating.
But I look at the first situation as the women playing a casual prank. I didn’t mind, and they weren’t really being malicious. Just curious how long it would last. In the second, the people undoubtedly would have paid me if money started rolling in. They had high hopes for their projects. If I stopped coding their hopes went away, so their best chance was to keep me at it as long as I’d go.
In general I’ve been blessed at working in high-tech in quiet, supportive environments with people who were friendly and helpful. I had all sorts of helpful, supportive bosses. I had coworkers who were fun. Part of it was that I worked in an in-demand field and was an in-demand person, so I could carefully vet, pick, and choose where I was. I turned down some jobs because they didn’t seem a good fit. I switched jobs if I got bored.
Since 1999 I’ve worked from home doing web stuff, so it’s even more true that I have wonderful, ideal co-workers. I love my BellaOnline management team. They are supportive, kind, and smart. The editors are great and want to learn and thrive. So to me this is the ideal.
A friend of mine has been suggesting some fairly lucrative “real” jobs for me to take, but they involve an hour commute each way plus of course the actual time. The idea of “losing” all those hours every day, and not being able to fit in the things I love, gets to me. Sure I could use the lots-of-money. But I’d rather be poor and really happy with what I do, rather than rich and giving up on this all.
Heading into my 10pm meditation time – lots to be grateful for today. Daily meditation helps to refresh the soul & restrengthen the spirit. Do you meditate? What kind do you prefer?
It’s nearing my 10pm meditation. I’m nearly ready to publish my 5th novella, so that is quite soothing! All for a good cause :). #meditate
Day 17 / Forgiveness and “Others”
Sometimes this book seems to be repetitively specific, while sometimes it goes a bit wildly in the other direction. “Others”? Others can apparently mean strangers, acquaintances, friends, co-workers, you name it. I think this is a bit too broad to work on all at once. So I’m going to segment this out.
Today I’ll work on strangers. Probably has something to do with this CraigsList guy who is upset with me.
It’s intriguing to me that I can feel hurt by strangers. With all the actual concerns in the world, and the real care I have for how I impact family and close friends, surely I can’t reasonably be concerned about how every stranger out there interacts with me. Maybe their mother just passed away. Maybe their tooth is broken and they’re in pain. Maybe they grew up abused and unloved and now this is how they see the world.
I certainly can’t change strangers. They are on their own path and hopefully they will eventually find a place of greater peace and joy.
Also, if someone is a volcano, it doesn’t make sense for me to take responsibility for that. I can’t take responsibility for being unable to cap it. If they haven’t been able to do it themselves during the years of their life, and their family and friends have been unable to help, then it is foolhardy for me to expect to do better.
I think I sometimes want to save every hurt puppy – but we just can’t. We all only have 24 hours, and X energy. I absolutely want to be kind to strangers. I want to present a serene point of contact for them. My energy should be positive.
That said, if a stranger is in a position where they are hostile and unhappy, I also need to let them continue on their path. It could be that the very thing they need right now is time alone, to uncoil.
Heading into 10pm meditation time – lots to ponder tonight. The nature of how we communicate with each other. #meditate