What does it mean to be enlightened: No Self No Problem by Anam Thubten

“We still experience all of life’s conditions just as everyone else experiences life’s conditions”

Being on a spiritual path does not mean you won’t experience any negative feelings. I work very hard to keep moving forward along this path but I still experience resentment, anger, frustration, etc. The difference is now I am able to tap into that little space between the action that triggers these feelings and my reaction to that action. It is in this tiny space, in this little pause where all the magic happens.

For example, I am currently in a situation where I am having to deal with a difficult family member on a daily basis for the next few weeks. This person often exhibits rude, controlling, self righteous and obnoxious behavior. He has the habit of going on endless monologues on subjects that he is totally ignorant about. I know from experience that there is no point reasoning with him because he is not interested in learning and expanding his views. He has a need to be right all the time. His behavior used to bother me a lot before. Since I was unable to say anything to him directly my irritation used to simmer underneath until it found another (unhealthy) outlet to get out. These days I recognize it immediately when I start getting annoyed. Then I am able to take that magical pause to sit with my feelings. During this time I am able to recognize that this person’s ignorance and closed mindedness are his self imposed punishments. I am able to see how insecure he must feel inside for him to resort to toxic, self destructive behavioral patterns. Suddenly I am able to see a little child inside this person who is yearning for unconditional love and acceptance but never got them. I am able to see him from a compassionate angle. I will definitely not tolerate any negative behavior directed towards me but by taking this magical pause I am able to set limits calmly and effectively without sending myself into an emotional turmoil by reacting in anger or by not reacting and letting the anger simmer underneath until it finds another outlet. Also I am able to own my happiness fully which is truly empowering.

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