Related: I know I’m in love when _____.
Related: I feel loved when _____.
On our earth we can only love with suffering and through suffering. We cannot love otherwise, and we know of no other sort of love. I want suffering in order to love.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man
Robert Thurman and Sharon Salzberg are icons of American Buddhism, and they are joyful, longtime friends. They challenge us to reframe our anger by seeing love for our enemies as an act of self-compassion.
Robert Thurman: There’s a word in Buddhism called “kleshas”—or “klesa” in Pali, “kleshas” in Sanskrit—which comes from a verb root that means “to twist, something to be twisted.” And it’s translated “defilement” or “affliction” by some people. I used to translate it “affliction.”
But the best word for it actually is “addiction.” So anger and obsession, lust, these things are said to be addictions. And that immediately gets the point across. In other words, it’s something that people think is helping them because it gives them a momentary relief from something else. But actually, it’s leading them into a worse and worse place where they’re getting more and more dependent and less and less free.
Krista Tippett: Dependent because the way you’re handling it is then all entangled with the other person?
Robert Thurman: Yes, right. And partly because you believe when anger comes to you, meaning in the form of an impulse that you have internally—“This is intolerable; that person did this; this is like something.” It’s the inner thought that comes, and it seems to come in a way that is undeniable. You have to act on it. So in other words, it takes you over. And that’s where mindfulness can interfere with that by being aware of how your mind works and realizing that it’s just one impulse and it’s one voice within you. And there’s another questioning voice and an awareness voice that can say, “Well, actually, would this be a good idea to blow your top now?”
I always like to say it’s like—otherwise you’re like a TV set that has one channel only and no clicker. If you have the horror show rising up from your solar plexus, then you’re going to have a horror show. Whereas, you can click to the nature show. You can watch the minnows frolicking in the lake in the summer. So I’m saying we are very clickable. We’re very switchable in our moods and minds.
And then the key is, the hopeful thing for some people who like their anger—and some people do like their anger. The hopeful thing is that that energy of heat, kind of like a heat—and actually in Buddhist psychology, anger is connected to intelligence, to analytic and critical intelligence. So that energy—a strong, powerful energy of heat, force—can be ridden in a different way and can be used to heal yourself. It can be used to develop inner strength and determination. And that is really something much to be ambitious for. That is a great, great goal.
More information and the full transcript can be found at OnBeing.org
I’m three days into married life and slowly coming back up for air and getting back online.
I apologize for disappearing the way I did but the closer I got to wedding planning the less time I had for anything else including sleeping and eating let alone writing. Something had to give. But I’m back now and looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and moving forward in ways I hadn’t been able to these past few months.
The wedding was just wonderful. I’ll post more about it Sunday when my thoughts are gathered and my emotions smoothed out, but for now, I will tell you I loved every minute of it, even all the parts that went wrong and so much went so very wrong. My vision for the day wasn’t quite realized, but it was a beautiful, intimate, heartfelt, and fun occasion, and that was all I had asked for. So, I am a married woman now. I have a wife and I am a wife.
Everything is still the same and so different too.
Everything is perfect now, the way it always was.
I’m still not feeling much like myself but I am doing my best and pushing through. I just wish time would move a little faster so I could get back home and get back to resting. I’m grateful for my fiance today who will answer a call and reply to texts even when she’s busy because she knows I need her. I’m grateful for a partner who will leave early to make lunch plans and who can make me feel that even if “right now” kind of sucks, “soon” will be so much better if I can just hang on.
So, lunch had to be canceled due to family emergencies, but the day still got so much better. I got that nap I needed very much and afterward, we went to do another fitting for my suit. It’s coming along so beautifully. Now just the pants need to be hemmed up and let out a little at the waist.
The weather was crappy, and we were hungry. The week was still wearing on us still and we’ve missed each other, so we opted on impulse for a much-needed dinner and a movie date night. We got crappy seats to a zombie comedy, ate too much popcorn, had too many cocktails, and giggled like schoolgirls in love. Oh, how I’ve missed that! The week couldn’t have ended on a better note!
Today was a hard day. My mood is in a downward swing and I’m not playing well with others. I did my best to fake it for as long as I could but I ended up calling it a day early and heading home to my dog and a good nap.
Fatigue is killing me. I used to be able to fake it. I used to pride myself on my ability to power through, but lately, I haven’t been able to hide it so well. Lately it’s been noticeable and lately, I can’t even gather myself up enough to pretend.
I have the option of making today my Friday and making Friday the beginning of a three-day weekend which sounds really nice but I keep doing the math in my head so many dollars per hour times so many hours per day is how much money I am taking away from us when I stay home. My actions impact others and taking care of me often means depriving my home of something it needs.
It could be Friday but I doubt it will be. My guilt won’t let it.
The most wonderful feeling is to be wanted, and the most special feeling is being wanted by those who aren’t as quick to wanting as most. I was late to work today because I was so wanted by someone who rarely expresses the need and it felt so good I couldn’t resist. I laid in bed surrounded by the warmth of love and the summer sun pretending I didn’t have a care in the world like it was a lazy Sunday morning and I had nowhere at all to be.
The rest of the day meant nothing and made no impression in comparison.
Every day is an emotional roller coaster. From hour to hour I am swinging wildly from despair, drowning and wishing I’d never been born, or, if I had to choose the second best, longing to die soon, the next I’m loving every part of life and grieving an eternity I had no right to ever expect.
Is anyone else out there living at such extremes? Is it only me that sees so much good existing right alongside so much bad. Am I the only hopeless one overflowing with faith? Am I the only one suffering in loneliness and all the while loving and being loved so deeply? Is anyone else out there like me, prematurely grieving the inevitable loss of existence, the world, an entire species they cannot wait to be rid of?
P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you out there, both the coupled and the single. Valentine’s Day may be marketed as a holiday for lovers but the truth is love exists in many forms and every relationship deserves recognition and celebration.
These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren