It is always easy for me to remember all the chores that I do, as well as all the other to-do-things that I take care of. However, at the same time, it it naturally very easy for me to forget all the innumerable things that my wife does on a daily basis.Â How convenient for me!
It is really difficult to become a contented person if I continue keeping a score of all that I do.Â Such keeping track has a negative effect. It clutters my mind with who is doing what. On the other hand it brings in far more joy to my life to know that I have done my part sincerely and someone else in my family has one less thing to do, than it will be to fret and worry over whose turn it is to take-out and sort the trash for the recycle.
The strongest argument against this is the concern that I will be taken advantage of. This is a mistake.Â It is similar to believing that â€˜I am right!â€™Â Most of the time it is not important that I am right and neither is it important if I take out the trash a few more times. Making garbage irrelevant in my life undoubtedly frees up more time and energy for truly important things.
I have found that scheduling a little time for myself each day, as if it were an actual appointment, is the only way to ensure that I do schedule the time and that I stick to it; how I choose to use this time is up to me. I use it for praying, meditating, reflecting, exercisingâ€¦this is how I want to use this time.
I do practice trusting my intuitive heart. This means listening to and trusting that quiet inner voice that knows what it is I need to do, what actions need to be taken or changes need to be made. Self-examination showed that earlier I was not listening to my intuitive heart for fear that I could not possibly know something without thinking it through, or for fear that legitimate answers could possibly be so obvious. I used to say to myself things like, â€˜That could not possibly be rightâ€™, or â€˜I could not possibly do thatâ€™.
And as soon as I allowed my thinking-mind to enter into the picture, I thought myself out of it.Â I then argued for my limitations. When I decide that something is beyond my reach, it is very difficult to pierce through this self-created hurdle. When I tell myself, â€˜I cannot writeâ€™, I look for examples to prove my position. I still remember my poor essays in my school days and do recall how awkward I felt when I sat down to write. I fill my head with limitations that will frighten me from trying. In order to become a writer, or something else, I must get rid of my self-created limitations.Â
When I overcame my fear that my intuitive heart will give me incorrect answers I did learn to trust it, and life became the magical adventure that it was meant to be.Â Trusting the intuitive heart is like removing the barrier to enjoyment and wisdom.
Initially when I was unfamiliar with trusting my intuition, I started by setting aside a little quiet time to clear my mind and listen. I used to ignore and dismiss any habitual, self-defeating thoughts that enter my mind and used to pay attention only to the calm thoughts that begin to surface. If my intuitive heart says I need to slow down, or take more time for myself, I tried to make it happen. If I am reminded of a habit that needs attention, I do pay attention. I do find that when my intuition gives me messages and I respond with action, I have often been rewarded with positive loving experiences.
My intuitive heart tells me true compassion is to serve people, to help them out of suffering and this must be without attachment. If I start crying over the suffering of others, I only make myself unhappy. This is not the correct path. If I have true compassion, then with all possible love, I try to help others to the best of my ability. If I fail, I smile and try another way to help. I serve without worrying about the results of my service. This is real compassion, proceeding from a balanced mind.
The development of goodwill toward others is a positive progression.Â Previously I might have paid lip service to such sentiments; but deep within the mind the old process of craving and aversion continued.Â Now, to some extent, the process of reaction has stopped, the old habit of egoism has gone, and goodwill naturally flows from the depth of the mind. With the entire force of the pure mind behind it, this goodwill can be very powerful in creating a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere for the benefit of all.
Always remaining balanced does not mean I can no longer enjoy life in all its variety. If I am a painter with a palette full of colors, I do not have to choose just nothing but gray. I can choose beautiful combinations of various colors.Â
Mr Thanedar so beautifully reminds us how easy it is to focus on the negative in our lives, and in society. He shows us how we can turn around this self-limiting behavior, rooted in defensive attitudes of protecting our so-called rights, into more constructive channels by not allowing ourselves to be ruled by the petty judgmental thinking of the egoic mind, which considers everything a zero sum game. He tells us so patiently how we need to expose ourselves to the expansive liberating viewpoint of the intuitive heart.
Last weekend I saw a horrifying movie called The Children of War which is about the use of rape as a weapon of war in the Bangladeshi War of Independence of 1971. Pakistani soldiers systematically and brutally raped 400,000 women as a way of subjugating the population, and rationalized this as producing children of a so-called unified country. It is so easy to be depressed by the savagery of human to human interaction that we tend to lose sight of the humanity of the other.
Somehow, no matter how hard it is, we need to also see the desperation of soldiers so far from home and so pulverized by fear and the dread of mortality that they vent their inadequacies and raw nerves on those in their power who are even more exposed and vulnerable than they are. Instead of seeing vulnerability as a source of change and growth, they allow shame and terror to dictate their actions. Many of them will also die a horrific death in battle or be haunted by post-traumatic stress syndrome and other psychological disorders which may make them take their own lives. So difficult as it is, we need to stay calm and balanced in the face of whatever life throws at us. We need to build ways of reaching out to others and holding a space for them, so that they too can change and evolve.
Bal Thanedar tells us how we need to stop defending our â€˜turfâ€™ and start exposing our vulnerabilities to the unlimited possibilities of collaborative thinking and intuitive insights. For when our hearts are open, and our minds guided by intuition and the spirit of love, it is impossible to be ruled by fear and greed that make us trample on our fellow beings. Then, as Mr Thanedar points out, we can achieve balance in life, and relax effortlessly into attitudes of loving service with no thought of instant gratification at othersâ€™ expense. We can be motivated simply by the joy of relieving suffering, changing hearts, and filling the world with the rainbow colors of love.