Complaining


When we have the ability to speak, nobody pays attention to speaking—we just speak. Or if our eyes can see, we just expect to see. But if we can’t see anymore, we have a problem. The same goes for hearing or walking or any part of our lives. So often we don’t pay attention to these things. We don’t say, “Thank you.” What we do is complain about the things that we don’t have.


In our culture we have been trained to look for something that is wrong so that we can fix it. In our jobs, in our work, in our lives, we look around for things that need to be fixed. We look for problems. In business, the quicker we can find the problem and do something about it, the more successful we are.

By always focusing on things that are lacking,

eventually we don’t even see

all the beautiful things that we do have.

So what helps us in one area can backfire on us and prevent us from being grateful for all the gifts that we have been given. Also, no matter what we have, we want more. I’m peaceful, but I want to be more peaceful. I’m loving, but I want to be more loving. I’m enlightened, but I want to have perfect enlightenment.

For us here in this room or reading this page, even if we didn’t have anything, we can appreciate that something within us could be in love with the Beloved. I think this kind of love is more than most people have. It is the greatest of all gifts and we cannot take it for granted.

It is important to remind ourselves during the day

that the Beloved is here, that the Beloved loves us,

and that we are an inseparable part of That.

And nobody can take That away from us.

Then we have to make some adjustments in our lives so that we don’t spend this precious life that we have here in always looking for things that we don’t have. That is such a big mistake.

It’s a very big mistake to waste this precious life in wishing that everything were different about our lives. If only we had the following, then we would be happy. If only this were different, we would be happy. If only this were not this way, we would be happy. And we waste precious moments.

Then, when the time comes that something is really severe in our lives or when we are suffering from something very real, many times it is too late to make up for wasting so much of this precious life.

From the smallest gifts we have to the largest

we must remember that they are all gifts!

We can’t take the attitude that just because we have a gift

that we are guaranteed to have it a moment from now.

What’s the guarantee that everything that we have now will be here a few seconds from now? There is no guarantee of this type. And that is why we need to appreciate what we have.

Then we will end up losing patience with ourselves when we are complaining or getting down and feeling bad. We will lose patience with ourselves and start saying, “Enough of this complaining. Let me look at the bright things about this life.”

When we look at all the suffering that exists in this world

and at how many beings live in such absolute misery,

I think that we become very, very arrogant

if we are complaining about our lot in this life.

I’m not saying that everything about our lives is perfect. But how can we compare our situation to that of someone who has nothing to eat, or who has no way to take care of the family, or who is caught in some type of a gigantic national disaster and is totally helpless, or who is suffering from diseases that are beyond comprehension? To say that my life is totally miserable because I don’t like my job—how can we equate things like this?

We hear ourselves saying, “I don’t like the kind of car that I’m driving. I’d be much happier if my nose were a little bit straighter or if I had bigger lips or if my breasts were bigger, but I don’t have enough money to get the silicone injections. I’d be happier if I had more hair”—or who knows what. Who cares what size lips we have if we can’t open our mouths to eat!

But we suffer from these smaller things

because we take the important things for granted.



Dear Beloved,

I pray to you and sometimes I don’t know what to tell you.

Sometimes I ask you for things.

And sometimes it feels like you are so far away.

Sometimes I can’t ask you for anything because whom am I asking?

Sometimes I feel like I know

and sometimes I feel like I don’t know.

Sometimes I love you so much.

And sometimes I get angry

because if you love me so much

why didn’t you make me perfect?

Then I laugh and then I cry.

I think I know and I think I don’t know.

I speak and I’m wise and I’m stupid.

I am a being and I forget it and I remember it.

I get myself into things and I get out.

I live! And I love you!

Sometimes I ask you to forgive me

and sometimes there’s nothing to forgive

because after all you made me a human being—

so I’m always left with

I love you.




SALT


Suffering is like salt.

Too much dries us out,

wrinkles and hardens us like a pitted prune.

Too little and our minds and bodies

fail to function well.

In the soup of life

a certain amount of salt brings out the flavor

and adds enjoyment to the meal.

Too much makes the whole meal inedible.

Thank you, my Beloved,

for the salt in my life.

One of us is a very good cook!


Shivakti



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