Beings wishing for their own liberation

 

Every aspect of our experience can be seen as a being.

We welcome some. Are indifferent about others. And actively ignore, reject, or battle some.

The ones we ignore, reject or battle wish for what all beings wish for.

They wish to be treated with respect. Kindness. They wish to be acknowledged. Listened to. Rested with. They wish to be liberated from their own suffering. They wish to be liberated from being treated unkindly.

They come with that wish. And I am the one who can do it for them. I am the one who can treat them with respect, kindness. I am the one who can rest with them, in kind presence.

I am the one who can ask simple questions about the stories creating their suffering, and helping it liberate.

I can do this with any aspect of my experience. Any of these beings, whether they are called sadness, anger, grief, fear, discomfort, pain, suffering, or anything else.

We all have a shared wish to be treated with kindness. So why not give that to these parts of my experience. After all, they are what I am. They are me. It’s a kindness towards me.

A shared wish to be treated with kindness

 

I have been reminded of this again:

It can be very helpful to relate to parts of my experience as a being, perhaps even as a child or an animal. Sometimes, a scared child or animal, one that feels rejected, bullied, unloved, hounded.

When a part of me seems to suffer, I can see it as a being that wishes to be free from that suffering.

It’s a being that may have been met with my rejection, struggle, disrespect, lack of love, and more, for perhaps a lifetime.

It’s a being that wishes for love, respect, attention, space, safety, rest, freedom from being struggled with, freedom from disrespect, freedom from me trying to make it go away.

It’s a being that wishes for what all beings wish for. Its wish for itself is my wish for myself.

In recognizing that, something shifts in me.

There is a shift to a natural empathy. A natural kindness. I wish the same for it as it wishes for itself. It wishes for itself what I wish for myself. It wishes for what all beings wish for.

When I now rest with it, and perhaps ask some simple question to see more clearly what’s already there, I may be coming from a slightly different place. Perhaps a place of service. Of gentleness. Of respect. Of love even.

At the very least, there is a shift in that direction. Those are more accessible to me.

What are some of these parts of my experience? It’s sometimes fear, anger, grief, emotional pain, physical pain, struggle, distress, discomfort, and more. These are the experiences I have rejected. Pushed away. Seen as wrong. Been scared of. Disrespected. Ignored. Bullied. Battled.

How did I learn to treat them so poorly? I did what I saw others do. Sometimes, I experienced that sense of rejection, being unloved etc. And I passed it on to parts of myself. I treated these parts in that way. So now, there is an opportunity to do something different. To recognize these parts of my experience as a being that wishes for what we all wish for. A being that wishes to be loved, respected, find rest and a sense of safety. And I can give it that. I can do it, with intention. I can do it, when I recognize that that’s what it wishes for. I can do it, when I recognize that it’s what’s the most kind for all of us – that part of me, myself, and other people in my life.

So what can I do? What can I do to make up for it? What can I do that will give us all what we really wish for?

I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. 

Resting with what’s here. The pain. Discomfort. Contractions. Notice. Allow.

Asking simple questions to see more clearly what’s already here.

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Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver

 

Simplified terribly, there are three ways of dealing with apparent evil:

(a) Let it have its way. Stay passive.

(b) Kill it off. Get rid of it.

(c) Treat it with respect and kindness, and contain it, prevent it from doing harm.

Most stories – whether fairy tales, mythology or contemporary movies, take the second approach. Some describe the first as a cautionary tale. And a few take the third approach, the more wise and mature (?) one.

One of the stories that take the third approach is Jim Button and Luke the Engine driver.

Instead of killing the evil dragon, as is described in so many other stories, they capture the dragon. They treat her with respect, contain her fury, and prevent her from doing harm. And she turns into a golden wisdom dragon. If they had let her have her way, or if they had killed her, she and they would never have benefited from her transformation.

For me, doing The Work and other forms of inquiry, and also holding satsang, doing ho’oponopono and tonglen, are all examples of capturing the dragon, treating it with respect and curiosity, prevent it from doing harm, and giving it space to transform into a golden wisdom dragon – if that’s what will happen.

It’s interesting to note that in western cultures (at least in western Europe), we generally take the third approach at the social level. We are, after all, civilized. And yet, when it comes to things in ourselves a thought may label “bad”, “undesirable”, or even “evil”, we are often trained to take the second approach. We try to get rid of it, or at least put a lid on it. That’s why simple processes such as The Work, holding satsang, and ho’oponopono may seem revolutionary. They are very simple and even natural ways of relating to what’s here in us, and yet they go against – to some extent – what we have been trained to do.

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