Me Me Me Me Me Me Me

Each day I aspire to  some version of enlightenment.  When things fall apart  I’d like be a cross between my father and Pema Chodron… I’ll listen, I’ll pray, and calmly love and support; caring deeply but retaining enough detachment to serve a higher purpose.

Yet some days I am astounded by my selfishness.  I am so absorbed in my own feelings and responses that my stony heart closes tightly like a bad clam in boiling water.  My eyes and ears are deaf and blind to the turmoil and heartbreak in the lives of my family and friends.

My immediate thought is for me.   I have a visceral response of “Oh no, not another…I just can’t take it!”

I can’t feel my grandson grieving over the death of his surrogate older brother..

I can’t comprehend that my brother-in-law is ill in the hospital.

I am too sad to think deep thoughts of my granddaughter’s struggle with addiction; what she is working through and how her family’s life is changed forever.

And don’t remind me about family discord, the homeless, the soldiers far from home, the earthquakes in Iran and Indonesia, the latest plane crash or catastrophic snowstorm.

Not tonight, when I am slogging through morass of sadness and fear when the phone rings or beeps with a text message.  I can’t tell you why.  I can only tell you that I am claiming every sorrow as my own but not in the way of the Tibetan meditation of Tonglen.  My detachment is avoidance.  My prayers float into radio silence.

Give me a night’s sleep and hopefully a different attitude. In the morning I’ll be grateful for my blessed life and realize that none of this is about me. I’ll wake with an open heart and a prayerful spirit that is strong and capable of holding someone up in my thoughts and prayers.

I’ll be a better person.

I hope.


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