It feels good to be a part of a mindful community. Whether you have an at-home practice, meditate regularly, attend group classes at a studio you call home, pay attention to what you’re putting into your body, or have started to surround yourself with people that more closely resemble you & your desire to focus on the positive, there’s something about transitioning into this world of do-gooders that feels good. And, while we’re rarely good all the time, our willingness to try and to hold ourselves accountable feels like we’re winning. And we are. Except for when we’re not. And the thing about being a person who is generally spreading Light, remaining positive, sweetly encouraging, setting an example worth following, and being kind…is that when we mess up, slip up, or find ourselves in a situation where stress is high and we’re not embodying the ideal, it feels a million times worse.
Why do we hurt the people we love the most? How is it possible that we can spend an hour of pure bliss at yoga and then leave & still want to punch someone in the face? How come we meditate in the morning and then still react with rage to the person who clearly just shouldn’t have a driver’s license? It’s not me, it’s them…right? Why do we so deeply desire to be forgiven and understood and taken seriously and then throw grace out the window and gossip behind a friend’s back or contribute at all to conversations where others are judged or being made small? Why do we perpetuate drama? Why am I so easy to anger? Why does this stuff happen? How am I working so genuinely and hard on my personal development and yet still susceptible to this nonsense?
If you’re asking these questions at all, then you’re still on the right track. We aren’t and will never be immune to these things. Raise your hand right now, and repeat: “I, _________________, am enormously flawed. And I, in the very same breath, am insanely beautiful and precisely on track.”
The thing about unwanted interactions are that they’re so necessary. Others will always show you exactly where it is that you are stuck. They say or do something and automatically you get hooked into a familiar way of reacting – shutting down, speeding up, or getting all worked up. When you react in the habitual way, with defense, anger, greed, envy, and so forth, it gives you a chance to see your patterns and then to work with them honestly and compassionately. It puts everything out on the table. It inspires hard but necessary conversations. It keeps us authentic. It allows us to be what only humans and nothing else on the planet can be: thoughtfully retrospective. Without others provoking you, you remain ignorant of your painful and sometimes ugly habits and cannot train in transforming them into the path of awakening.
Know this. Be the yin, and the yang. Be the Light and the Dark. Be the encourager and be the gossip. It’s inevitable anyway. Be the person who is always striving to be better than the person you are today, or tomorrow, or the next day. Be open to evolve. Don’t just be half of this or that or the other thing. Be the whole dang thing. Make mistakes. Be mad when you’re mad. Go to yoga, and then leave and get worked up all over again. Be gentle. Be honest. Be better. Be you.