Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How not to go crazy - part 1

In my various areas of life that need fixing/attending/renovating - I've included both mental and spiritual. In the mental category, I decided to make a phone appointment with a counsellor that I get for free via my wildly insufficient actor's insurance. (I say insufficient because the less money you make, the lower your coverage and my acting income has dropped by 2/3 in the last couple of years. ) I just call a toll free line and place an emotional order with a caring operator who gingerly suggests a "how to handle your stress kit". I would prefer magic faerie dust but instead settled for a phone appointment. Mmmm, they used to offer face to face contact, I guess in these hard times, they're packed. On the bright side, I can stay in my pajamas. More on this tomorrow.

In the spiritual category, I spent the weekend attending Buddhist meetings while hubby was away. At the women's group meeting, you won't believe one of the questions that came up. It asked how to deal with raising a daughter in adoption. So we had 4 adult adoptees in attendance, one of the them being the national women's leader. They were all encouraging and emphasized openness and a great deal of love and compassion. They shared the common trait that they had felt "rootless" their whole lives and that didn't change until they met their birth families. One woman stressed the importance that the child know (in an age appropriate way) that they have been adopted from an early age via story books. Even as mature adults, these women were still in the process of healing their lives.

We met later on for coffee and I shared my struggles with her. Yeah, well, the Coles Notes' version. And in turn, she shared hers. Turns out we had a lot in common. And the Buddhist guidance part was very encouraging. She mentioned something that I've heard before - she said I was very hard on myself. True. It occurs to me I've slandered my Buddha nature. That just means, I haven't TRULY appreciated who I am and what I've done. I still find fault at not being good enough and so she counselled me to chant that with the belief that my life is so precious and every cell in my body to be bursting with life force and happiness.

There is a Buddhist saying: "Never seek the Gohonzon outside yourself". In other words, never seek happiness outside of yourself. In looking at what I don't have, comparing myself to others, of course, I found myself lacking. And to be honest, sometimes I just want to pull the plug on this whole thing cause I'm just plain tired of disappointment. I had such an amazing creative time in Banff and then I came back to reality. I think that if I had this or that, I would be happy, I would be complete. It is in this world of hunger that I suffer so much because I'm dominated by this craving for a child, for approval, for gigs, for "fill in the blank". I could have all of that and a bag of chips and STILL be unhappy, do you know what I mean? You probably know people who have it all and still bitch and moan that they can't find a good butler. Good news is that there can be Buddhahood even in hunger. One can still yearn for the happiness of oneself and others and work towards it. I need to appreciate and treasure the incredible life I do have. Every day. There are no guarantees of one's security in this world, only the opportunity to build unshakeable happiness.

"Worthy persons deserve to be called so because they are not carried away by the eight winds: prosperity, decline, disgrace, honor, praise, censure, suffering, and pleasure. They are neither elated by prosperity nor grieved by decline. The heavenly gods will surely protect one who is unbending before the eight winds."

I so appreciate and thank you for all your encouraging words and listening to me whine and stamp my feet. (I also need to stop watch N. Suleman interviews on TV - it's making me crazy!) I'll be fine. I just need to practice loving kindness towards myself a bit more and stay the course. There needs to be a shift somewhere inside of me so instead of attracting problems and barriers, I get a flow of abundance and ease.


Beautiful Mess said...

It's hard, sometimes to stay open and positive. You're doing a really great job of recognizing and changing that. Good for you! You're truly an inspiration to me, in that I should open myself to more positivity in my life. Thank you so much for posting this!

annacyclopedia said...

I love this: "It occurs to me I've slandered my Buddha nature." I'm going to take a moment to say the lovingkindness phrases for you and for me.

That is going to stay with me for a long time. What a perfect idea to help snap me out of my perfectionist, wanting, comparing habits.

And by all means, stay away from the N. Suleman interviews! Eek.