- Our Body
- In today’s society we are continually marketed the image of what beautiful is. Be mindful that this world is made up of nothing but beautiful people. We just need to adjust our focus from what other’s expectations are for beauty and what truly makes people beautiful.
- We are also continually reminded that we have our own image of what we “should” look like. Some of these come from our desire to be taller, shorter, skinnier, more muscular, etc. These are cravings that prevent us from becoming content of who we really are, which is who we “want ought to be” but who we “are to be.” The perception of who we are is what others see, and if we see ourselves as wrong, then who will see us “as is”?
- Many people believe that they are valued by their looks. Certainly, there is a biological aspect to attraction, but it is only one set of many criteria in which others view us. Look at those who are surrounded by love, friends and joy and you will see that most of them are not idealized beauty but a natural beauty that comes from self-acceptance.
- Our Thoughts
- “I should be a kinder, gentler, nicer person.” Believing that creates a logical fallacy in which others (perhaps everyone) are kinder, gentler and nicer than you. This thinking closes our eyes to the fullness of ourselves and others. We are all kind and we have all been less than kind. Do not avert yourself from this truth.
- “I am not good at … “ Using meditation for an example, I hear many people say that they are not good at meditation, but what does that mean? They devalue their experience and progression by judging themselves to a process. The greatest meditators in the world were not always the “greatest” and they still find themselves slipping into monkey mind, sleep, and fantasy. Avoid statements like “I should” or “I am” because they created definitions about us, limiting our ability to grow and experience our life to the fullest.
- Our Lack of Action
- Did you skip meditation yesterday? Where you supposed to call a sick friend and forgot? Why beat yourself up about it? Life is not graded. When we believe that we missed an opportunity or responsibility, take those moments as a resolution to take action next time.
- Did you volitionally not do what you thought you should: give money to the poor, volunteer at the soup kitchen, chose to spend more time watching TV instead of playing with the kids? Life is full of choices and none of them are right or wrong. They are only actions that are more or less conducive to living the life we want to live. Determine to live the life you choose to live and accept it.
- Our Bad Habits
- Gross bad habits. “I am a smoker.” Quitting smoking, overeating, and computer games: they are all addictions. If they were easy to quit, they wouldn’t call it an addiction. It is hard enough to quit without beating yourself up emotionally about it. Practice makes perfect, and it builds determination and success.
- Subtle habits. “This is just the way I am.” We are all conditioned from conception to death. Whether by our aggregate senses, our parents or community: we have developed assumptions, presumptions, conclusions and delusions about who we are and what the world is around us. We assume that “this is just the way it is.” Then we find a slight stirring into awaken-ment and catch a glimpse of the difference between the truth and our illusion of the world around us. Even then we still fall into the traps of our conditioned life over and over. Don’t worry. We are all a work in progress.
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