Persistent Memories

When something is unresolved for me in the moment, it often comes back as a memory. This seems to be one of the ways life is helping me gain clarity and insight: I was unclear at the time, and the memory returns until I find a resolution.

One of these memories, which came back a few times over the weekend, is from several years ago when I was a resident at a Zen center in Salt Lake City. A friend had birthday (round number) and wanted me to join his birthday party at an unpscale italian restaurant. I ended up going, as I wanted to join the celebration and expected that I could find a way to make it relatively inexpensive for myself. At the restaurant, while everyone else ate and drank to their heart’s delight, I had one small bowl of soup. It seemed the best of both worlds: good company and inexpensive. When it came to pay the bill, it turned out that the rest of the people there decided to split the full cost evenly among everyone, and I ended up paying about five times more than I had eaten for.

They shouldn’t force me to pay for more than I ate for.

1. Yes, feels true.

2. No, only an opinion.

3. Stomach contracting. Not being seen, my needs ignored. Hurt. Going into victim mode. Defiant. Judgmental. Circular thoughts about why I can’t afford it (“poor me”), how inconsiderate they are, and judgments of myself for not being able to take care of my own needs clearly, and having hangups about the whole thing.

4. Clear. Able to take care of my own needs. Clear about my needs with myself and others.

>> 5a. I shouldn’t force myself to pay for more than I ate for. (Yes, that is what I did. I forced myself to pay, instead of exploring other options with the group.)

5. They should force me to pay for more than I ate for. (Yes, that is what they did. It is their process.)

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