Lately, I have been taking care to follow my emotions wherever they lead. Most have already guessed things have become very complicated. While I can say I am learning my triggers for joy, sadness, and frustration, I’ve also noticed everything seems to put me in a very angry state. Naturally, I have begun to look deep at what is causing all these aggressive outbursts with friends and if I truly am just an angry guy attempting to use the Dharma, while seeing myself as empathetic, to fool myself and others. Are rage and anger all I have to offer?
In today’s Phoenix Pulse, I talked about compassionate listening. Compassionate listening is a skillful technique used in Buddhism as well as by counselors to deeply listen to the other part with no judgment. It’s about being open to what the person is saying, taking it in fully and with all your senses to respond in a way that is compassionate and helpful. It’s not just waiting to speak, not just trying to get your side out, and not taking anything said as an attack. It’s truly to help the other person suffer less which means thinking of them through not second if at all. I am starting here because I feel this is missing often times when I have been dealing with those closest to me, and causing my emotions to elevate to the level where I have been exploding in terrible ways.
Backing up, I have a lot on my end that has caused this. I have no been skillful with my words or even fully with how I listen to others. We all feel like we are doing the best in most situations. We like to be right and more so not to feel like we are wrong. Ego and Pride are often at play throughout the day and even when noticed it’s hard to just pause and reset. In plenty of theses situations where I could not stop the trainwreck, I feel like I knew with each word where things were going. I feel like
I because a spectator with no ability to stop or control things. In that moment when that realization manifest, I tend to be able to recalibrate but by then, the damage is done and ending the altercation because almost impossible. In coming to this realization, I’ve made some decisions that seem harsh but are truly because I want the cycle to end but am not skilled enough with my practice to find an alternative plan at the moment.
I’ve decided to take a retreat away from the closeness of my friendships. I am not someone who can take an actual retreat due to my work demands so I am doing this when I’m not at work. I will be throwing myself into my emotions but my anger specifically. I am fortunate to have others in my life that are life coaches, practice Buddhism, and otherwise, have great wisdom I can turn to during this retreat, but those closest to me have been the triggers of so much I just need a break. It seems like I am being very self-aggrandizing but I truly am looking to heal and no longer cause my friends and myself the pain of these aftermath situations. As self as this seems, I have written how being selfish isn’t always a bad thing and here I need to be incredibly selfish.
I am worried once I come off this retreat and if the results cause me to actively rekindle these friendships with more care, I am concerned my friends will feel slighted and decide against it. While this fear is front of mind, I won’t allow fear to take control. Friendship happens when you aren’t on the same page. When you just want them to show up and not judge but be present. My hope is I have those friends after all is said and done. I honestly know I do but I haven’t been getting that from them lately. I must say, I’m not blameless but I have tried. In many instances, I recalled begging and pledging for compassion. I literally would ask for the other person to stop attacking, stop thinking of their correctness and to just stop. I have verbalized what I needed with actual hurt, sadness, frustration, and terror in my voice as I just begged for someone to see me, hear me, and just be present. It’s there where I feel I have to step away and become more self-nurturing.
As I said before, I am not blameless. I have allowed too many harsh words to be uttered by my own lips and from others in response. I have to take care to study and practice Right Speech more. I must slow down and think of the angles and what truly is needed for a healing result. What has bothered me is the response I even get to wanting to stay peaceful and be a peacemaker. I’m told I am the only one trying to be considerate of others and my thinking from a perspective of allowing everyone to win is wrong, silly and stupid. When this happens, I exploding thinking, how on earth can thoughtfulness, and compassionate motives be any of those things. I am currently at a crossroads and a retreat is the only thing I feel I can do.
I love my blog. The great thing I’m trying to do is show my ups and downs (and there are a lot of downs), and a step by step of my journey to a life that handles the downs better while I reduce their appears. I sometimes feel like how can I help others with all the crossed thinking, slow retention and application of the lessons learned, and just thoughts of who am I do even think people care. Everyone has a place, and everyone’s experience is important. It’s all life and life is full of the spectrum of well life. I’m no more important than anyone else. I am, however, not going to let thoughts like these stop me from sharing my journey, sharing my thoughts, and sharing my missteps publically for those that might benefit.
People aren’t just angry so I know I’m not an angry person but while I’m still overly frustrated there is work that needs to be done. I’m here to share this with you and would love to hear back in the comment section way at the bottom of this post. Please like and share to get a movement and Sangha of people wanting stronger friendships and compassionate listening to be their sword and shield.