A dear friend and I recently exchanged words that left us both feeling angry, stunned, and upset. I tried to bridge the gap of misunderstanding with acknowledgment of my contribution to the confusion. I also tried to respect her perspective without compromising my own. It was my idea of a peace offering. For her, it was a bomb that had sadly backfired. I was dangerous, and she didn’t want the enemy anywhere near her.
My thoughts would not stop trying to console me. They ranged from extremes of self-righteous positions blaming my friend, and inferior positions blaming myself for my heartlessness. Judging us both was painful, so painful, that I longed to think my way out if this tangle. What Buddhist practice could help me unravel this confusion? Was it the three characteristics of existence, the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, understanding of the Middle Way, or something else?
The harder I tried to understand, the tenser I got. During a weary morning sit, a voice reminded me to let go, surrender, and relax the resistance. That is the moment I began to heal with an embodied presence as opposed to a spiritual bypass. Over the next few days, I reached out to Sangha to help me process what happened. The above Buddhist concepts were no longer mental gymnastics that weakened understanding, but strengthened it through R.A.I.N.
I know in my heart that seeds of understanding are being watered, nurtured, and sprouting in silence. I don’t know what will happen to the friendship. Emotions of anger, fear, and sadness still rise like tidal waves threatening to drown and submerge my clarity in cold darkness. But I will no longer say no to them. I’ve been here before – past lives, previous relationships, praying for freedom. The heart must be irritated to form pearls of wisdom.
I’m tired of trying to change you,
rattling the bars around this heart prison
expecting you to have the key.
Where’s the sunlight, connection, and joy in that?
What if i am an open door allowing
you to come and go as you please,
not trying to cage you with small thoughts,
but spacious awareness that sees everything?
What if i get to know you, understand you?
Would i choose to stay?
Dear Universe, help us find each other,
eyes meeting in peaceful resolve
till the first words spoken are kind.
May I be patient with this process of learning. May I be kind and gentle with myself, not taking these exchanges so personally. May I remember my sincere wish to wake up and attract relationships of wise, mutual understanding.
May the Universe support your need to be heard and understood. May you be happy, well, safe, peaceful, and at ease. May our eyes meet in peaceful resolve till the first words spoken are kind.
May all relationships (family, friendships, acquaintances, strangers, perceived enemies, animals, plants) be held in wise reflection, wise exchange, wise effort, till the first words spoken are kind.