Imagine That Everyone Is Enlightened Except You
Hmmm, this really made me think, especially when Dr. Carlson wrote the following: “This strategy gives you a chance to practice something that is probably completely unacceptable to you.” This statement makes me wonder, “Now what am I here to learn?” Already I’m turned off, because I don’t want to practice something that I’m going to find unacceptable, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and see how the rest of the chapter goes. I am supposed to imagine that everyone is enlightened except me…AND what exactly is an enlightened person?
ENLIGHTENMENT: Illumination, insight, achievement of spiritual state.
Having just learned to Live in the Present Moment in Chapter 10,we are now catapulted toward enlightenment; combating our fear of the future, not wasting energy on the unknown and immersing ourselves in the present. That takes practice also; lots and lots of practice. It is more enjoyable tho’ and much more relaxing. For those of you who are following along, I hope that you are finding these strategies helpful, but like anything worthwhile, it will take some work!
Eleven weeks into our Don’t Sweat Adventure, Dr. Carlson wants us to imagine that everyone who crosses our path is enlightened but US (you and me). No, you are enlightened, I am not (or something like that). Our job is to figure out what the people in our lives are trying to teach us. The rude store clerk, the crazy driver, the mouthy teenager, the forgetful grandmother, the ill-tempered and cranky old neighbor, are all in our lives for a purpose; to teach us something. But what? Well for example, the rude store clerk may have had a bad morning or had their hours cut at work- so show him compassion with a tender smile or gesture. The crazy driver was late for an appointment - so slow down and give him wide berth so you both arrive safely at your destination. The mouth teenager – well they’re teens, but by not arguing back and nodding your head (pretending you understand) might just decrease the heat of the moment. The forgetful grandmother could use an extra helping of patience and the cranky old neighbor might be lonely and would appreciate a plate of cookies with a nice note attached or an offer to mow the lawn. In other words, their behavior and emotions as they interact with you, are lessons for you to learn as you strive for self-improvement.
So, what do we have to lose? A short temper? An over-reaction followed by an escalating argument? Arriving a few minutes late (but safe) for an appointment? And what do we gain in return? . . compassion, patience, self-control and a friendly demeanor
Others may be enlightened, but I’m getting there too. I’m on my way to illumination, insight and the achievment of a spiritual state! Perhaps we are here to enlighten each other?
THIS WEEK’S ADVENTURE ASSIGNMENT
In those moments when you cannot imagine why or how another can affect you so negatively, stop and think, “What are they trying to teach me?” Look for the alternative to the behavior or words and remember, they are enlightened and you are not. This should be a fun and ENLIGHTENING week!
Hello and welcome! If you are new to this blog site, or to The Don’t Sweat Adventure, please click here. Once your curiosity is satisfied, and are ready to begin, then move to the first post on May 1st.