UNVEILING RESENTMENT: SEEING CLEARLY
Last week, I shared how I touched in my meditation practice a place of resentment I had not been aware was there.
As I continued my meditation practice, what I saw, as I opened gently and lovingly to my uncomfortable feelings, was that I was ultimately hurt because the other person was not who I wanted them to be. I had projected my expectations onto another. What happened did not measure up to my idea of how they “should” behave.
We want others to be the way we want them to be, because in some way we are attached to the idea that they are the source of our love. But to do so, is to not see the other person clearly. It is an unfair expectation that we have created and imposed upon another.
There is a story of a Buddhist master who receives a gift from his student of a glass vase. They admire the beauty and enjoy it. Until one day, the vase breaks and it is no longer. The student was distraught, whereas the master was undisturbed. The student thought perhaps that his teacher did not like the vase. He inquired, asking his teacher, “Master, did you not like the vase? Why were you not disappointed when it broke?”
To which the teacher replied, “The broken vase always existed within the vase.” The master was not disappointed when the vase broke. He was present for the gift when it came to him. He was present for the gift when it broke and was no longer in that form.
When people behave in ways we don’t like, they show us aspects of themselves we have not yet seen, or perhaps have seen but not yet accepted. We may see their bright, sunny parts. But we may not want to see their broken bits. When we allow their shadow to hurt us, it is because we have not yet accepted those aspects of that person. When someone acts hurtfully, and when we get hurt by them, both we and they have forgotten, in that moment, our connection to eternal love.
I will continue next week with: “Part 3: Painful Experiences as an Opportunity”. In the meantime, consider where you lose your power in resenting people and not accepting them the way they are. I look forward to sharing more here on this topic next Sunday.
Until then, be well!