Pema Chodron often writes about maitri, which means loving kindness. In one of her books she says,
"Loving-kindness- maitri - toward ourselves doesn't mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means that we can still be crazy... We can still be angry or jealous, or timid, or have feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to change ourselves. This practice isn't about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we already are. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That's the ground, that's what we study, that's what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest"... she says, "Being with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive in a full, unrestricted, and inspired way. One of the major obstacles to what is traditionally called enlightenment is resentment, feeling cheated, holding a grudge about who you are, where you are, what you are. This is why we talk so much about making friends with ourselves. This is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have. Our wisdom is all mixed up with what we call our neurosis. Our brilliance, our juiciness, our spiciness, is all mixed up with our craziness and our confusion, and therefore it doesn't do any good to try to get rid of our basic wonderfulness. We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we're doing rather than trying to change or get rid of who we are or what we're doing. The key is to wake up, to become more, alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves. We're talking about loving-kindness again, in a slightly different way. The ground of loving-kindness is this sense of satisfaction with who we are and what we have. The path is a sense of wonder, becoming two- or three-year-old child again, wanting to know all the unknowable things, beginning to question everything. We know we're never really going to find the answers, because these kinds of questions come from having a hunger and passion for life -- they have nothing to do with solving anything or tying it all up into a neat little package. This kind of questioning is the journey itself..."
I just wanted to share this, because it made me realize that if I wished to really change anything about myself-- including my current neurosis, then I would be taking away a big part of the wonderfulness. Or at least I am going to agree with Pema, and call it that. Our fears, our doubts, our neurosis are what make us human, and they help us to relate to each other. Pema says that making friends with who we are isn't selfish, it's in fact becoming friends with humanity, because that's what being human means-- that we're not perfect. That we all have the certain parts of ourselves that we wish to cover up. But it's in the loving-kindness, the compassion for who we are that we can have loving-kindness towards others.
I wish you all a very wonderful day. And remember, when the "craziness" starts to come out, it is just part of what makes you, you. At least that is what I am going to be telling myself. :) Happy Thursday to you all!
Lots of loving-kindness...
P.S. I love all of Pema Chodron's books. This one is The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness
image via Kat Hardin and pinterest