If you could choose between heartbreak or liberation, which would you choose?

Comparing how someone interacts with us and others

Can you recall a time when you saw someone whom you like, admire or love, show more affection to someone other than you?

Perhaps you saw them treat someone else better?

Did they speak to them with a glow on their face? One which you don’t receive often?

Did they have more patience for them, in comparison to how they are with you?

Was time of no importance, when they were with them, as opposed to, carving out a limited amount of time for you, when you need something?

Were they unable to contain how much they were looking forward to seeing them? Something you don’t experience when they’re arranging to meet with you?

The real, and often invisible, effect of comparing

Noticing these things can result in jealousy, resentment, anger, pain and heartbreak.

Can we make a different choice?

Instead of feeling negative emotions, could the experience be a positive one, which could lead to liberation?

Could events like this, provide us with an opportunity to realise, that we shouldn’t depend on how others treat us, to feel joy or satisfaction?
Could such occasions give us the chance to reduce our attachment towards others?
Could they become moments, which enable us to RISE in equanimity?

Possible strategies

  • Shift the focus back on me to see how variable I can be with different people.
  • Reflect on the times when I’ve behaved differently, or been less keen on being with certain people, because I was experiencing some sort of physical pain.
  • Recollect the times when I’ve craved being with someone but I couldn’t explain why.
  • Think back to occasions when my behaviour has varied because of the situation or setting.
  • Remember social occasions when I thought, spoke or reacted ‘unusually’ because of the make-up of the group.
  • Realise that I too fluctuate according to hormones, fear, feeling rejected and so on.

These examples show me that the way I think, speak and behave changes often. There are so many factors at play! On these occasions; others may think about how they perceived me before, in comparison to how I am at that moment, and they too, may be left confused. They may end up feeling uncertain about if and how they should speak, or behave, with me.

So I am not only experiencing situations like those described at the beginning of this post, but I am also causing them! 

Possible goals

  1. Strive to be more consistent
  2. Try to align my thoughts, speech and conduct
  3. Have compassion for myself when I don’t manage it
  4. Remember that others are no different, and understand that they too, are struggling with their own battles
  5. Change the way I interpret what I ‘see’, because this is what causes pain and suffering
  6. Instead of watching others and blaming them for fluctuating, can I use it as a way to remind myself about how I do the same, and identify the work I need to do?
  7. Can these occasions be a reminder that I should not trust, believe or expect everything around me to be permanent? I am not permanent, so how can everything and everyone else be?
  8. Hold on to these reminders to cultivate a positive, realistic shift in thought. To realise that our haven is within us. It is something which cannot be shaken unless we allow it to be.

It is possible for us to see each and every moment as an opportunity to progress, reflect, realise, detach and strive for purity.

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