“The more we make friends with ourselves, the more we can see that our ways of shutting down and closing off are rooted in the mistaken thinking that the way to get happy is to blame somebody else.”
Pema Chodron, from We have met the enemy — and the friend, featured in The Pocket Pema Chodron
You could argue my old boss wasn’t setting himself up to live his best life most days. Drinking beer with breakfast (not at the airport or in Europe), usually stoned and feeling like the world was out to get him, and always repping the “Everyone else is so crazy” vibe.
He had his good qualities too. I still kind of love his anarchist self-righteousness. When he overheard a kid talking shit about a woman’s body at The 24hr Taco Shop in Tucson, in one motion, he opened up his untouched burrito and threw the entire thing at the kid’s face, telling him to have some respect. Not sure if this lesson was necessarily heard, but still! He apologized to the staff, put $20 in the tip jar, and took off on his bike.
He and I had an unexpected falling out when I (surprise!) took a new job. He went as far as questioning if I had been a spy the entire time, and made up a story about a police report he filed against me.
This was hard. I live in a smallish town and would still be seeing him around. Instead of blaming him for the lingering wack feelings, I’d work on what I could try to control – myself.
I go to a weekly mediation class on Saturdays to practice the metta karuna bhavana or loving-kindness meditation. You choose 3 people: one annoying, one neutral, and one friend or fam, and wish them all (along with yourself) happiness, health, peace, and safety. It’s online, let me know if you’d ever like to join.
He was my chosen annoying person for weeks, months even.
I slowly started to realize my old boss just wanted to be happy too, and remember the day when he moved from annoying person to neutral – that person you see at the grocery store or on walks but don’t really interact with. It felt like a pretty big accomplishment. In the next couple days, we even passed each other on bikes and my wave was returned with a little mini-wave. Progress!
“Even if you do want to feel angry toward another, it’s the person’s deluded mind you should be upset with, not their physical body. Their mind is uncontrolled; they have no choice. When they attack you, they’re being driven by uncontrolled attachment or anger; thats what you should be angry at.”
Lama Yeshe, The Peaceful Stillness of the Silent Mind
Politicians and shitty news folk are def the hardest for me here. How can we send someone who is destroying people love? I guess they just want to be happy too and happen to have a convoluted way of doing it. The issue being their “uncontrolled mind.” They’re way out of touch and, unfortunately, create real consequences because of it. So get them the fuck out of office, and then get them in therapy.
Think of bro that hosts that InfoWars show (sorry). John Oliver shared this clip of him claiming he would eat his neighbors if need be. Obviously this is total BS, completely an act. He is just confused, dangerous, and stuck in a cycle of his happiness tied into him saying horrible shit. Sounds terrible to me, and that (I’m gonna say), brings out a bit of… compassion for him? (🤢 vs 🧘🏻♂️ )
Compassion for my old boss, for wack politicians or influencers, for all “enemies” 100% better serves me to rep for me, and that always ripples out to my crew and community. It makes us happier and healthier, and I’m proud they don’t get to take that away from us.
“Check up: visualize all universal living beings around you and realize that equally, just like you, they all want happiness and don’t want unhappiness. Therefore, there’s no reason to make the pychological distinction between friend and enemy, wanting to help the friend with extreme attachment, and wanting to give up on the bothersome, conflict-generating enemy with extreme dislike.”
More Yeshe from Peaceful Stillness…💗