I live a mile from work, and normally walk to and from there. This hill is my biggest hurdle en route home. I have made up a litany of prayers that I pray as I journey home. I normally pray a self composed prayer, which is like a mantra for my walking meditation. When I get to the foot of this last hill to my home, whatever I am thinking normally stops and my concentration focusses solely on my prayer.
Bipolarness affects morals as easily as emotions. I’ve gone to every extreme in every form of sin. I’ve been lustful toward all forms of females. I’ve gotten angry with anyone, who disagrees with me. I’ve gotten to lazy to attend Sunday church, and greedy enough to steal from employers. I maintained a drunk for months long, while constantly putting myself down because I didn’t do as well as my brothers. I saw the world, as if I was the only one who mattered.
I imagined an air tight way to do it. Thankfully, I found a person to listen to me. This person was God and talked in a prayer, which was answered in a second.
I could list my angelic virtues. However due to my depression, I only focused on my negatives. When depressed over your failings, remember not anyone is all bad. You have some positive traits also.
Two nights in a row I remembered something from my past that hailed down a load of misery and pain on my mind. Now nothing had actually happened. I was home alone. No one, friend, family, foe, or robotic device called to annoy me. All of my electronics worked wonderfully. Best of all, my kitten Francis did not even scratch me.
However, I was sitting like a somber bittersweet statute staring straightforward.
My mind imagined grim scenes from my past. I forsaw what I should have said, envisioned how I would have stated it, and what responses I would have followed.
A day later, I read the Buddhas’ quote, “Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts ungaurded.” I was so happy because I had something to tell myself when I remember some past dismal time.
I just stared straight up and prayed a big, “Thank you,” to Jesus, the Lord, the Holy Spirit, and the Buddha for the advice. Showing gratitude is also a step toward humility and happiness. Besides, I would rather err on the side of love.
Thanking whoever helps you, regardless of who they are stems from the Good Samaritan story also. Treating everyone in a humane manner, regardless of race, religion, income, or whatever, is a very easy first step to love, especially with a smile on your face.
Then day three came and as expected my mind drifted that horrible direction. I started to have a devilishly induced recollection, but gratefully I remembered the Buddha’s wise words. I stopped my brain and stared at myself in the mirror.
Oddly enough, I found a quote from Marcus Aurelius, a Roman leader, which correlates with the Buddha’s one.
With my bipolar issues, I’ve had any degree of day. I can go from being deliriously delighted, full of energy to morbidly melancholy, sleeping 16 hours out of a day.
Then, my epilepsy knocks me unconscious. I’ll have a dream-like fantastical feeling float into my head, and the next thing I know I’m in an ambulance. Paramedics ask many questions, while I try to figure out what happened.
In all three of those instances, I tell myself to pray, and in the end, I always survive.
Let me assure you in the hieght of the COVID19 pandemic and working at a grocery store, my epilepsy and bipolarness would have made me useless. Long lines and bare shelves lead to many ugly shoppers. I concocted my approach of imagining throngs of customers as if they were the Son of God. I ended up acting in a nice, polite, and calm manner than prior to the lock down.
Although, the really angry folks with expired coupons were still annoyed regardless of how nice I was. Wonder if Mr. Lama ever has similar problems.
For me, this is a similarity between Buddhism and a way of loving your enemy, within Christianity.
I have a co-worker, who seems to have figured out a way to do just this kind of charitable giving. I cover for cashiers who are on breaks at a grocery store. My co-worker is from a different department, and she came through my line.
As she was putting her groceries on the belt and I started ringing them up she said, “Just round it up for the local hospitals and Corona Virus.”
This “round up” is adding change to your bill so that it’s an even dollar amount. For example, if the total is $4.55, then .45 would go to the local hospitals as a charitable offering. The total coming out to $5.00.
Of course, she could certainly look at her receipt to find the exact amount. However if she wanted to maintain strict alignment with that seemingly impossible Biblical verse, she only looks at the bottom line of the receipt and not the break down. Hours later, I was blown away when I came to this realization.
Later I said to myself, “I could do that,” and then wondered, ‘how do you truly love your enemies?’ Also, Jesus’ teaching about anger, where angry is equated to murder. (Mt. 5 21-26)” The big question for me was always “how.”
“You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultry within his heart.” This section went on to state that if your eye or hand causes you to sin then gauge it out or chop it off and throw it away. (Mt. 5:27-30)
Wow if you ask me that’s pretty steep, since I would not have made it past puberty. I’m glad I never took those phrases literally. However, I do remember many things I owned, which I could have trashed while praying, like a few Playboys with those Biblical verses in mind. I could have easily discarded some material things that led to sin. Today I routinely throw away DVDs that aren’t what I expected. I’ll be honest. At 53, I wouldn’t watch them anyway.
The last example simply comes down to prayer. Now for me (& for me alone – since, I have messed up my own life countless times, so I would never try to tell someone else how to live) First, I love my enemies by praying for them, then just talking to them and asking them questions about themselves. Lastly, I try to treat them like a friend.
Also, I hate Pres. Trump, and don’t assume I’m a liberal or Democrat. I’m Pro-Life, and Democrats are bought off by lobbyists just like Republicans. Those two are the true green party.
(Myreason for feelings about Trump. Skip to next paragraph, if don’t want to read my op-ed piece.) However, anyone who seperates children from their parents is practically satanic, especially putting them into cages. I’d like to see a president who did not talk about all Democrates as demons and instead strive to work with them to arrive at equitable solutions to legislative issues. I wish he wouldn’t call his opponents derogatory names like a playground bully, or attack any member of the media who doesn’t agree with him, I’d like to see consistent policies once made public, and stop playing on Twitter constantly. I am normally an independent but not this year.
He’s not exactly an enemy, and I’ll never talk to him. However while praying for him, I realized that anyone who talks and Tweets so much about himself probably has some pridful, egotistical, and esteem issues. This is of course simply a guess. During this prayer, I further concluded maybe I should pray for a President who didn’t behave unlike all previous presidents. Essentially, I decided to pray for Trump (or any public figure) and the traits I find disagreeable, not against him. Admittedly, my prayers may not do anything for Donald Trump, but they helped me. My mind found rest.