[From the people gathered around Yudhishtara, one voice arises in a sorrowful lament. Yudhishtara’s reply speaks to all of us who sometimes feel this way tooS.]
Yudhishtara, I never love the Beloved enough.
That’s not true! You’ve been hard on yourself. You’ve been saying things like you just said over and over again and there comes a time when you have to be kind to yourself and say, “I love my Beloved and I’m not going to over analyze it.” This is the situationI know you! This has been one of the things that has been bothering you, that you believe your love is never enough.
We can always claim that we never love the Beloved enough. We can always say, “I’ve thought of my Beloved a 100,000 times today. But my goal was 110,000 therefore I have failed.” But this is not the way to look at these things!
The fundamental thing
that comes along with real love
Love and kindness go together. One of the most difficult attitudes to hold is to be kind to ourselves. We know ourselves too well. You know yourself better than anybody. I know myself better than anybody. We know all the faults that we have. We know all the things that we should have done differently. And we judge ourselves very harshly in retrospect. But there comes a time when we have to stop thinking like that. Otherwise we can never put it behind us. We have to make a decision to be kind to ourselves just as we so often decide to be kind to a stranger.
Many times we are kinder to a stranger
than we are to ourselves. Many times!
And then we are not in balance.
Sometimes something may appear to be a flaw in usand it may, indeed, be a flaw. This is one of the things that happens to people who love these spiritual things that we’re involved with. It’s the kind of a thing where we start out as a person who has all kinds of gross tendencies that never bother us. We are very thick-skinned. We do all kinds of things that are considered in our society as not good, even though in essence these so-called good and bad designations aren’t even a consideration. We do all sorts of things and don’t worry about the consequences.
Then as we progress we start becoming more refined about things. We begin to understand the implication of various events and of our behaviors. We start to see that some of the things that we are doing are not very appropriate. So, we change…and we change…and we change.
But there always seems to be something missing. It seems as if we ought to change even more because now we can witness things that are very, very minute. Now we worry about things that we wouldn’t even have given the time of day to before.
So we still keep trying to improve.
But at the same time we have to stop the criticism!
We need to be kind and acknowledge that in the balance we are doing many good things now. Furthermore we have to remember that we are something indescribable that is occupying a physical body and that this physical form sometimes acts and reacts in ways that cannot be predicted.
Sometimes we do things that we wish we hadn’t. So what are we going to do? Are we going to spend day after day criticizing and further inflicting pain on ourselves? Or shall we say, “I’m sorry. Now I realize this was not a good thing. I forgive myself and I am moving on. I love my Beloved. My Beloved created this body that I am occupying and, on purpose, this body was created not to be something of perfection.”
We are not perfect. If we were perfect it would not be the same game here. We would not be sitting here. None of us would be discussing anything. It would all be beside the point.
By design…we are not perfect.
By design…we are different.
By design…we have lives that unfold.
In all my prayers for us I start by saying, “Let there be peace. Let there be kindness. Let there be forgiveness.” If any one of those things is missing, then we get ourselves in troublebecause by design we are not perfect.
So … you may not agree with this, but I know that if I were half as kind as you are, then I would be very, very pleased with myself.
If you ….
No! Don’t say anything. Did you hear what I said? If I was half as kind as you are …
But you ….
Never mind what you think of me. I am telling youif I was half as kind as you are in your heart, I would be very pleased with myself.
I love you.
It is because of situations like this that I get so upset with paths that teach us in so many ways to think that we are no good. I see all these things that get imprinted on us that tell us we are terrible. We are hopeless. We are dirty. They tell us our whole lives should be spent in a gigantic effort to improve everything about us in order to conform to some particular ideal that somebody else has defined. We are given instructions day after day to do this and do that so that we will someday be something better than what we are now. And we fall prey to this stuff! We hurt ourselves and waste so much timeand it blinds us to the Beauty that we are. It blinds us to the Beloved within us. So this situation aggravates me.
SURRENDER TO LIFE
I surrender to life
knowing that within its play
there are many roles I may read for
and only a few I’ll choose.
But regardless my choice
I cannot escape life’s vicissitudes,
its progression across the stage,
its full complement of experiences and feelings.
I surrender to Life
and I accept,
with gratitude and awe,
this gift of consciousness,
this being here at all.