Buddhist Reflection: Saying Yes (or When You Really Want to Be a Hater But Can’t)

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So I’m back on the cushion meditating on another lesson in impermanence. Quite frankly I’m sick of this lesson. I need to pass the damn test so I can move on.

Moving on.

“Breathing in, I say yes. Breathing out, I let go.”

or

“Breathing in, I accept things as they are. Breathing out, I won’t be a hater.”

One of the first and most valuable lessons I learned early on is that life is not fair. You can put your best foot forward with all the best intentions in the world but that doesn’t mean squat. Shit happens, then you live with it. How you choose to live with it is the key. You can either say yes and roll with it or say no and fight against it. Whichever way you choose has a lot to do with how badly you wanted things to go your way.

My own personal dukka is the choice I have made to maintain a close relationship with someone who tends to change suddenly and without warning, and change often. As a Buddhist, it’s the rule of thumb to embrace change. You see it, you accept it, and all is well. Except all isn’t well when one’s heart is in question. It’s almost as though I cannot fully adjust to one circumstance before I am presented with another. Things are going one way and I’m ok, happy.Things suddently switch and I’m left nursing old wounds. Being too accepting has me riding an emotional roller coaster. There is no peace in that.

I think the process of saying yes also includes acknowledging your feelings even when your feelings are saying “hell fucking no!”  In those instances you find yourself wanting to hate on the fact that something didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to but you can’t because there is a certain wisdom in understanding that your way isn’t always the best way, for yourself and for others.

So along with impermanence I am also faced with my limitations. I can only take so much. Apparently there are some things that are going to take much longer than others for me to be able to accept and I have to take the time to process whether or not I am ok with that. I realize that there are times when it’s best to take a break from saying yes all the damn time, even when this means having to separate myself from those who I am very close to and care very deeply for. It saddens me. It’s not as though I don’t want to maintain the relationship. But I am experiencing an aversion and I have to acknowledge this. I must say yes to the fact that I have to say no because I know that eventually my aversion will pass and with that will come acceptance. And inner peace.

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4 thoughts on “Buddhist Reflection: Saying Yes (or When You Really Want to Be a Hater But Can’t)

  1. It is so true. I have also had to learn the lesson of constant change, over and over again. I’m finally at the point where I can embrace it…and look forward to it, no matter how shocking!

  2. “As a Buddhist, it’s the rule of thumb to embrace change. You see it, you accept it, and all is well. Except all isn’t well when one’s heart is in question. It’s almost as though I cannot fully adjust to one circumstance before I am presented with another. Things are going one way and I’m ok, happy.Things suddently switch and I’m left nursing old wounds.”

    You know, acceptance is an essential part of the practice, but it doesn’t mean we don’t feel, think, and act in response to what’s happening. The way I see it, sometimes saying yes to the world means accepting what’s happening now, but then just saying no to it all. Not gonna keep doing that. Gonna do something else, anything else.

    We can certainly embrace change, but Buddha also was pretty clear that we aren’t bound to our karma, that our practice is about liberating that karma – as best as we can. It has a passive element and an active element.

    • I absolutely love your insightful comment. Thank you so much for sharing. I think you put it all into prospective when you stated “The way I see it, sometimes saying yes to the world means accepting what’s happening now, but then just saying no to it all. Not gonna keep doing that. Gonna do something else, anything else. “

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