Accepting Others For Who They Are

Later tonight I have the privilege to attend Take Back The Night at Scranton University. This event is it help raise awareness about sexual assault and violence as well as other areas of dating violence. This is something that is very important to me for personal reasons and I was extremely excited to go until I was informed that a certain individual would also be attending.

You know those people in your life that just rub you the the wrong way and you don’t know why? Well this individual for me is the epitome of those people. I have pondered many times as to why this individual causes such turmoil inside me and I just haven’t found the answer yet. I have even meditated on it and still nothing.

As I was complaining to my boyfriend about this whole experience of having to sit on a bus with this individual for an hour there and an hour back, he stopped me mid sentence and said, “Aren’t you supposed to accept other for who they are since you are a Buddhist?”. This was almost a slap in the face since I’m always advising him to be kind to others for who they are. My immediate reaction was to feel extremely guilty and then outraged at myself. After saying goodnight and hanging up with my boyfriend, I really sat down and thought about what he had said. I’m suppose to show compassion to all beings, but why couldn’t I do this for this one individual? Was this person the idea of all things that I had stood against? I decided to practice tonglen and see if that would help me be more compassionate towards this person when I saw them in class the next morning.

Well that class just ended and I left feeling even more furious and guilty than the previous night. I have yet to discover what exactly it is that is causing such tension, but tonight I’ve decided to try again and be more compassionate than I was before. If I start to get angry with that person while they are talking and start thinking rude thoughts, I’m simply going to label my thoughts as “thinking” and instead practice tonglen and send this person compassion. I’m well aware that this will not change overnight, but we all have to start in some way. I know that I have not mastered sending compassion towards myself yet, but I feel like this situation needs immediate attention. As I am sending this person compassion and if I start to feel some sort of anger towards myself for not getting it right, I am simply going to refer back to anapanasati and start again, but with even more gentleness than before. Hopefully I will be able to find some sort of peace and self growth.


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