We had a housemate for just a month, and it was quite an intense experience. One aspect of it was his smoking, and we have been finding snipped off Marlboro filters in his room, next to the house, and in our car which somebody broke into two days after he left.

I mentioned the pattern of snipping off the filters before smoking, and my partner said “another of his self-destructive behaviors”. Her statement triggered a reaction in me (resistance), which is a clear indication that I myself am engaging in self-destructive behavior that is not quite brought into awareness.

I don’t consciously blame others for it, but there is a reaction coming up when others blame someone, and even that points to a certain blindness for me around the issue. So…

He shouldn’t be self-destructive

  1. Yes (for his own sake and those who care about him)
  2. No, only an opinion.
  3. Care, concern. Blaming him for acting in a way that harms himself and those around him.
  4. Clarity, space. Be with whatever happens. No need for reactivity.
  5. (a) He should be self-destructive. (Yes, because he is – until he isn’t.)

    >> (b) I shouldn’t be self-destructive. (Yes, this is where the juice is. I am self-destructive in so many ways, especially in believing in thoughts. This is one of the ways I bring myself down. I also procrastinate, which tends to cause problems for myself and others. I am reactive, which causes problems for myself and others. I don’t keep in contact with family and friends as much as I could, which weakens the bonds. I don’t save enough money for the future. I am wavering in several areas of life, which creates insecurity in different ways. I don’t engage in spiritual practice as much as I could, allowing valuable opportunities slip through my fingers. I allow opportunities slip by in many areas of life. I live as if I would live forever. I live as if everything will continue to be as fine and dandy as it is right now. I am self-destructive in so many ways, in so many areas of life.)

She should see in herself what she sees in him.

  1. Yes (that seems to be a good thing)
  2. No, only an opinion.
  3. Irritability. Judgment (she should be more aware, especially since she has experience with these inquiries). Resistance to what she is saying, and to the reactions it triggers in me. Wanting to be somewhere else. Wanting to talk with someone who is more aware. Wanting to clear it up for myself.
  4. Clarity, presence. Compassion for all of our blindness and how we all create suffering for ourselves that way. Recognizing in her what I see in myself.
  5. (a) She shouldn’t see in herself what she sees in him. (Yes, not until she does.)

    >> (b) I should see in myself what I see in her. (Yes, this is very true. I am seeing her judgment, and overlook how I am equally judgmental of her. In the moment I react to her judgment, it is my own judgment coming up. She is a perfect mirror of what is going on right here, in myself, right now. And this brings up recognition and gratefulness. What seemed so painful brings a release. It is turned around to something to be grateful for.)

I need to appear clever.

  1. Yes (who knows what will happen if I don’t).
  2. No, only an opinion.
  3. Fear. Always looking for ways to appear clever. Always looking for material in the current situation which I can twist and frame in a way that will make me appear clever. Always looking at how I may appear to myself and others, in what way it may appear clever, and how far up on the cleverness scale it goes. Always looking for ways to appear more clever, with what is now and in the future. Always concerned about what people think about me or view me.
  4. Clarity. Presence. Be with what is. Can be who I am, without concern of how clever it appears. A certain freedom. Space. Freeing up attention and energy.
  5. (a) I don’t need to appear clever. (Yes, maybe I don’t. Maybe what I am, without the extra cleverness, is OK as it is. It is certainly a liberation to not have to appear clever. Maybe that in itself is reward enough.)

    (b) My thoughts need to appear clever. (Yes, it is the belief in that – and similar – thoughts that creates the impression of having to appear clever. It is all belief created.)

    (c) My thoughts don’t need to appear clever. (Yes, they can be exactly what they are. In fact, they cannot be anything else. There is not even any need trying.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.