“I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion–and where it isn’t, that’s where my work lies.”
― Ram Dass
Lately I’ve been hearing people talking a lot about what resonates with them and what doesn’t. Quite often they say it in the context of dismissing or not engaging with anything that doesn’t resonate with them. Not everything is going to click with everyone and that’s understandable. I am puzzled that I don’t hear people asking themselves WHY something doesn’t resonate.
Usually when I have a knee jerk reaction to something especially one of revulsion, it is because it is hitting either some kind of trigger for me or it’s hitting me in a blind spot. Case in point, when people talk about certain issues with families, I tend to turn it into a joke because it rings too close to the truth. If somebody presses it, I will change the topic of conversation. I could have said the topic didn’t resonate with me but I was in fact avoiding a truth about how I relate to my family. Once I started asking why or more properly what might be causing this reaction I opened myself up to a valuable lesson. At the very least, using my reactions as a basis for self-inquiry rather than avoidance has made me a lot more compassionate and to have a lot more confidence in and knowledge of myself.
“That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it, and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way is winning.”
― Richard Bach
In martial arts you learn the most when you go against someone more accomplished and you lose. Chess is very much the same way. Sometimes in life, we have to lose our way to superior forces in order to become strong enough to win. At the very least, in our life when things don’t go our way, we learn and there is always a gift that lesson that lies within the situation.
“I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It’s all a question of how I view my life.”
― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes
On this one, I’ve chosen long ago. While I may have used by people, never have I been a victim. Many times when I have entered relationships I saw in my mind’s eyes where they would lead, both good and bad. The good was love and fellowship and joy in the presence of another. The bad (relatively speaking) was lessons that I needed to learn or perhaps repeat to drive home the point I had insisted on missing before so even the bad was a win. When the time came to move on, rarely cleanly I left feeling properly devastated but never really victimized by the other. Was I victimized by myself? Perhaps so. It all depended on how badly I needed the lesson, that treasure that Coelho talks about. Are there any treasures greater than increased awareness and increased capacity for love? I don’t believe so. I am grateful for my life and all the people in it, even the ones who have challenged me, perhaps them most of all.