Every day when I get home from work, I put all my stuff down, walk over to the bookcase, and take out a stick of incense. I light it and place it on my special incense holder, which sits right next to my Buddha statue. I ask for two things every day: patience and compassion.
I have no doubt in my mind that those two things can solve every single problem in the world. Yes, suppose I could ask for happiness and be done with it, but blank happiness isn't exactly what I am going for. When you reach the top of a mountain and can look back on how far you've come, that's real happiness to me. It's knowledge, it's learning, it's where you've been, it's realizing, it's growing up... and that all takes boatloads of patience to go through.
And it's not just about being patient, compassion allows us to sympathize and understand. It implies a desire to alleviate negativity where we can, and is a big part of what I think of when I hear the word awareness. It's deep, touching, sometimes scary, and is always beneficial though it can be so hard to embrace.
I've been restless this week... tired, upset, and angry with the way my life has been heading. When times like this happen, those two things I ask for every day go right out the window. I don't sleep or eat well and I constantly fear that I will relive those dark depression-laden years of my life. If you've ever been through depression, then that sinking biting feeling is all too real. I know it fades with time, but I don't know if it'll ever go away all together...
I used to also ask for understanding, but I gave that up long ago. I finally realized that there's just no possible way I can ever understand everything about everything all the time. There will be so many things I'll never understand, but perhaps accepting them is as close as I can get. Acceptance. I'll have to add that onto the list I think.
But lately I haven't been very accepting of anything, least of all how I am right now. I believe that all the strength I need to change, all the strength I've ever needed, is in me already. Lack of strength or desire to succeed is not the problem, it never was. Well crap, then what the hell is it???
I suppose the real thing keeping me from my goals, like so many other people, is ultimately fear. Fear of failing, fear of not failing (what?), fear of it taking a lot of time and taking a lot of effort, the fear of doing something hard and not knowing what the outcome will be.
Geez, whine much? When I write it out like that... fear seems rather silly.
It seems lame.
It seems illogical.
It seems like a huge waste of time.