The Dalai Lama once said: “To develop patience, you need someone who willfully hurts you. Such people give us real opportunities to practice tolerance. They test our inner strength in a way that even our guru cannot. Basically, patience protects us from being discouraged.” I don’t agree with the Dalai Lama.
It seems to me being around someone who willfully hurts you is not a smart way to develop patience or tolerance. Being around a fool who lacks the common sense to not hurt me or others is hurtful to our inner sense of happiness and harmony. I am not interested in practicing patience or tolerance with a fool. If anything, I would want to stay away from this person and let go of him emotionally and physically.
• The Cherokee remind us to let go of harmful energies and harmful emotions, such as anger, revenge and resentment. How can you let go of these harmful emotions if you are living with and regularly associating with someone who willfully hurts?
• A wife who is being beaten by her husband physically or emotionally does not need to learn patience or tolerance. She needs to be impatient, intolerant and to get away from the thug beating her.
• Too many people live a half life or tolerate a half-fulfilling marriage. If your spouse refuses to change behavior that is selfish, destructive and creating ongoing unhappiness, the message to you is clear — your needs and your feelings are not important and probably never will be.
• When you decide to confront a negative spouse or relative or any other negative person in your life, don’t do it in the middle of an argument. Wait until emotions have calmed down — when you are both more likely to listen instead of accusing. Remembering what was said during a heated argument is never pretty and usually results in another argument starting anew.
• If only one of you leaves your ego out of the argument, there will not be an argument. Remember, it’s very important to the ego to get the last word in and thus to win. No one can make you upset without your permission. No one can discriminate against you without your permission. You are in charge of your life if you choose to be.
• When you allow everyone else to decide who you are, you will be too busy to relax, to be creative and to be happy. You can’t please the universe, but you will waste a life trying to please everyone … except yourself.
• You know what you want. Instead of doing what you want to do, you keep checking it out with all those outside sources in your life.
• Maybe you want to go to the beach to live because that is the time of your life when you feel free, relaxed and creative. You never move to the beach because you listen to others who are happy to provide reasons “not to go.” They may not want you to go to the beach because they envy your willingness to do what they want to do. Maybe you are too afraid to try the unknown or some part of you believes you don’t deserve a carefree, relaxing life at the beach.
• You must learn to pay attention to your inner feelings and to be courageous enough to enjoy a beach-bum life with all the benefits. I wish you luck and new adventures!
Bob Billingsley is a columnist at the Mountain Democrat. His column appears bi-weekly.