Monday, December 01, 2008

There is no judgement here....

Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and pain, fame and disrepute are the eight worldly winds. They ceaselessly change. As a mountain is unshaken by the wind, so the heart of a wise person is unmoved by all the changes on this earth.


We are going into the time of year when I live in a nearly constant state of cognitive dissonance. It's hard. No kidding. I can't even escape it temporarily by getting stinking drunk! Gee, sometimes there just ain't no justice! :)

So I've decided to be a big girl and try something this year to avoid falling into some of the old traps I've fallen into in the past which inevitably lead to unhappiness for me and some of the people who surround me. Even though I understand a lot of things intellectually, sometimes my emotions get away from me and my patience is short.

It's time to work on staying away from judgment. Admittedly, I can get very judgmental and righteous this time of year. It's easy to get into that frame of mind when the over-saturation begins to play a symphony on my last nerve.

The judgment comes when I hear people talk about the stress of the time and then start whining a bit too much. My internal and immediate reaction is "well, you chose it!" I know I should be kinder and more understanding because this season is something that means a lot to many people.

I'm not saying my reaction is okay. I expect more of myself but here's the confession: I often do snap to judgment and it's not always compassionate.

On the other hand, I'd like to think I am mature enough and decent enough to try to grow beyond it. I'd like to challenge myself to be more compassionate, more understanding, more respectful and more generous with my resources, emotionally and spiritually. If I behave differently, I give you full permission to verbally swat me upside the head.

I'm also going to give myself permission though to retreat when I need to do that. I may not be here as much or at your sites as much. I'm really going to try to balance this out in a more healthy way.

So it's going to be up and down.. a bit here and a bit there. The commitment I make though is that I will do my best.



Blog Antagonist said...

While I agree that Christmas, like life, is what we make it....and while I share some of your contempt and disgust for the way commercialism and greed has taken it over....

When you have children, some of the choice is removed from us.

I would love to opt out of Christmas. But it's not an option because I have children who think it is magical.

And it's my job to make it that way until it's time to hand over the reins.

Jen said...

Chani, this is an admirable goal - we can ALL do with being less judgmental. One of the very GREAT things about American society is that we can speak our piece relatively unscathed, at least from a political point of view, ie. we won't get thrown in jail, generally, but at the same time, it means we DO speak our piece. All. the. time.

And we often do it without compassion.

If I may, I would like to join you in this quest. I need it.

And we should support you in this in any way we can.

Christy said...

It is hard to stomach when people complain about things they choose.

I don't think I even know when I do it myself, though, so I usually just try not to feel attraction or aversion.

And if I feel aversion, I try to move toward the middle by giving that feeling some love.

(I never have to worry that I'll overshoot it!!! LOL)

Anonymous said...

I admire this, but I have to say that, in this case, some folks ought to judge themselves a little.

flutter said...

I admire this, hugely

heartinsanfrancisco said...

All any of us can do is our best.

It's impossible to opt out of Christmas/Chanukah when one has children as long as they are a part of society, but they should be taught from an early age that although "stuff" is fun, the really meaningful things we give to one another are our time, our energy, and our caring.

When holidays bring people together they add to our lives, and when they become competitive consumerism, they make us less than we are. The choice is ours.

thailandchani said...

BA, I believe you. I can't speak to it honestly because I've never had children. It makes sense that it would be a dilemma, trying to balance that.


Jen, thanks. I appreciate the support.. and, yes, I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a short temper and cognitive dissonance around this time.

There are certain things that frustrate me more than others.. things best left unsaid.. but I will make a conscious effort to be kinder about all of it.


Christy, yes.. the "draw a heart around it" technique. I will be using that a lot, I'm sure. :)


Emily, I agree.. but can't be responsible for that. The most any of us can do sometimes is just try to avoid as much of it as possible and check ourselves.


Flutter, thanks. :)


Susan, yes, the choice is ours. I'm going to try to take your message to heart though and remember to be more compassionate about it all.. and to give my time and energy as freely as possible. It's hard because I really miss my homeland around this time.. especially. I get a bit depressed about being surrounded by other people's holidays that fundamentally mean nothing to me... and then being isolated from the things that do mean something to me. Geez. What an admission. :) I can almost become teary.

It's hard.. but like everything, there's a lesson. It's my choice to be bitter.. or to make something good of it.

(sigh) Hard for this old chick who is the furthest thing from a bodhisattva I can imagine.



Sherry said...

Oh Chani, surely you know that we all support you. It is never easy to reassess one's life and focus on change. Baby steps do work I find. It is a marvelous time of the year to do this. Please do let us hear from you from time to time as you ponder altering your view of the world.

Anonymous said...

I hope I don't whine about the upcoming time too much!I'm certainly am already sick of the music inflicted upon me everywhere I go.... oops that was a complaint:)
It's one of my struggles to deal with innate critical abilities and judgement so I empathize. You do an admirable job as far as I can tell! A peaceful season for you Chani!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Coming from Janet's post of liberation and richness of experience to this post about doing your best and owning a rut, I feel as if I have all the tools I need. Beautiful.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I think we each have to do what's necessary to negotiate this season and try not to accept the expectations of others.

Leann said...

Ruth hit the nail on the head when she said "try not to accept the expectations of others"

We are all prone to judge even when we try not to. I try to put myself in that persons shoes and think of all the scenarios that could possibly go with it.

thailandchani said...

Sherry, I will definitely let you know how it goes. :) It should be an interesting experiment.

That is, of course, unless I have this cold for the rest of the month which means I won't be dealing with anything! LOL


Starr, I do feel the same way. Really. The music, the shopping (which I don't do but hear about endlessly, etc), the constant sentimental chatter.. ugh! Well, that was my one allowed complaint. :)


Amanda, I'll be interested in reading if you decide to write about your rut.. and what you're dealing with.


Ruth, luckily, I am not mired in anyone else's expectations. I don't have demands placed on me. It's really more about the over saturation of all of it.. everywhere. It seems I can't even escape it in my own community - which is mostly Buddhist. It's ... everywhere! Yeeeergh!


Leann, that's what I need to do. Just remember that this matters to other people and that my caterwauling doesn't improve the silence in any way!


3brainer said...

Thanks for this post, I think you have said what many of us feel. I like to think of it this way: There is the outer manifestations and the inner ones. If we focus on the meaning behind the rituals and symbols and not on the outer exhibition of them, maybe we can actually enter into this season of giving by stopping and truly encountering one another. There is a place for ritual and symbolism in the human experience. I will light a fire outside for solstice and honor the longest night of the year. And I will try to match your challenge and dig a little deeper for compassion in the presence of idiocy.

Joan said...

Hello my fellow non-judgemental friend!
And yes, as hard as it is, we strive to rise a bit above the fray and to use wisdom and all of the patience and empathy we possess to see this season for what it is and to determine in our hearts that we are going to be a blessing and not a curse...
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Cripes do I get long winded when I have been away from here too long :)

Chani I love the depth and the intellect of every post you share, and it is a true gift that you get others to 'think' and to 'readjust' their (my) thinking with the words that you pour out as liberally as salt from a shaker... but these words are like diamond dust and precious jewels.

And I so love that 'There is no judgement here...'


Anvilcloud said...

We all have certain tendencies -- such a making snap judgments -- but not everybody is able to reflect on them as well as you and try top do better.

hele said...

May you find the peace that loves you

thailandchani said...

3Brainer, thanks. I agree that rituals and symbolism are important. My challenge (which I have to accept whether I want to or not :) is to develop a meaningful respect for symbols and rituals that are no longer relevant to my life.. but are relevant to others. The truth is that I want to avoid being a bigot. It can be far too easy to become that way - unintentionally.


Joan, you're right. I want to be a blessing... and in order to do that, I really have to be mindful of the thoughts I allow myself and how they manifest. That's really the larger issue... beyond the season itself.

Thanks for the compliment. :) I do try to come up with something here for people to read or think about, whether they agree or not.


Anvil, I know not everyone can do it.. and I sometimes wish I didn't feel the need to do it.. but that's how it seems to be working out. :)


Hele, thank you. Your mouth to God's ear for all of us. And I wish you peace, too!


Woman in a Window said...

I hear you on this one. I was serving someone today at work, selling them Christmas decorations. Outside it was snowing again and was beautiful, perfect. And when I said, "So now, are you enjoying the holiday?" She growled, "Christmas is going to kill me this year." And I was left wondering why she bothered.