Positive Possibilities: Open to All Life Brings, by Parvati Devi
After my meditation practice the other day, I wrote in my diary: “Resentment is a choice that only hurts myself. It does not change the circumstances or the other person whom I may resent. It festers in me like an uncovered wound that swells with rot.”
During my practice, I became aware of a painful incident that I had not yet fully integrated. I had been treated unkindly. I felt hard done by, which in turn led to resentment.
As I continued my meditation practice I opened gently and lovingly to my uncomfortable feelings. I saw that I was hurt because the other person was not who I wanted her to be. I had projected my expectations onto her. What happened did not measure up to my idea of how she “should” be.
We become attached to people when we make them a source of love. We then want them to be the way we want them to be, so that we feel loved. But when we do this, we do not see the other person clearly, and we lose ourself in them. We have also stepped out of the moment, and live in the past and the future. When we feel hurt by another person’s actions, in some way we have lost sight of our self, the other and our connection to the divine – which is eternal love.
There is a story of a Buddhist master who received a gift from his student of a glass vase. They admired the beauty and enjoyed it, until one day the vase broke and was no longer. The student was distraught, whereas the master was undisturbed. The student thought perhaps that his teacher did not like the vase. He inquired, “Master, did you not like the vase? Why were you not disappointed when it broke?”
To which the teacher replied, “The broken vase always existed within the vase.” The master was not disappointed when the vase broke. He was present for the gift when it came to him. He was present for the gift when it broke and was no longer in that form.
When people behave in ways we don’t like, they show us aspects of themselves we have not yet seen, or perhaps have seen but not accepted. We may see their bright, sunny parts. But we may not want to see their broken bits. When we allow their shadow to hurt us, it is because we have not come to peace with those aspects in that person. When someone acts hurtfully, and when we get hurt by them, in that moment both we and they have forgotten our connection to love.
The great news is, another person’s actions are their choice. Our response to their actions is our own choice. Through my meditation practice, I saw how I lost myself in taking another person’s choices personally and in wanting them to be other than they are. There is tremendous power in such realizations. In seeing more clearly, we can reclaim the energy we have lost in being attached to erroneous perceptions of reality.
Rather than using disappointing, unpleasant or painful events to build resentment, we can choose to see every experience as an opportunity to recalibrate around deeper truths, greater clarity and fuller wisdom.
When I softened to the resentment and looked deeper, I found that the situation was the universe lovingly helping me connect to a deeper source of love beyond expectations. Everyone is flawed. Relying on another human, rather than the divine, to be the source of unconditional love is like relying on a weathervane to guide us. It will constantly change. With greater insight, I could develop a deeper sense of self-love, self-respect and self-care, and broaden my understanding of love.
When we rely on a deeper source of love and tap into the divine in every moment, then everything that we experience fuels our personal growth. The eternal teaches us through the temporal how to return to the One. Through daily experiences, I can move from the personal to the transpersonal, from the conditional to the unconditional.
Do your best to have fun in what you do as you see life as an opportunity to learn and grow. Welcome all that the moment brings. Life is a gift. Open to it.
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine and an internationally recognized Canadian musician, yogi and new thought leader. As a chart-topping touring musician, Parvati spearheads the Post New-Age musical genre with her independent success hit single “Yoga in the Nightclub”. She founded YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine, a powerful yoga method that combines energy work and yoga poses. Her debut self-help book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie – A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker” is forthcoming in 2016.