Discussions concerning somethings, like COVID19 or politics, are stressful and frustrating at worst or annoyingly comical at best.
At the grocery store those who have a ton of groceries and let the person who has a few go ahead is almost always a happy person. They’ll ask how you and your family are doing, or even better The person who complains about things above and beyond anyone’s control in Central Missouri will almost always have a new topic to moan about when they return.
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.
Yeah well, I basically sat down and watched these two bounce around my apartment. They stole my breath. I was meditating suddenly. Seriously though, for a number days I had filled my mind with hopeless negativity and dreaming of future failures. I was upset with taxes, renewing my health care, rent, and other potential problems. The bunny rabbits successfully completed one thing.
My pessimistic mind predicted a complete worst case scenario and could not envision the slightest positive outcome. Consequently, I was depressed and my dark mental health affected my work and relationship with friends and family. I was essentially on an edge, as being easily angered. However, I am well aware that I cannot predict the future. Consequently, I sought to turn over my issues to God in my own prayer/mantra:
I’ve studied Buddhism and read a lot of Dali Lama, while being Catholic.
Please note: Padre Pio said something similar to my “definition”. I didn’t conjure it up entirely onmyown.
I’ve never been diagnosed with an anger control problem, but I’d kick their butt if they said I was wrong. I don’t need a diagnosis to know. I overreact, yell, use profanity, and a few times in the past I’ve lost consciousness and slipped into a focal epileptic seizure, when I’ve acted out outrageously. Those extreme times are absolutely no fun.
I took a job in retail, a grocery store, because I thought it would not be stressful. Sure, retail isn’t stressful. Try telling a venomous customer their coupon is expired, especially during a world-wide emergancy pandamic. This was the perfect day for me to have one of the most intense, forcible, zealous, extreme explosions. Long lines, trying, trying to quit smoking at the same time, and hundreds of ugly, resentful, annoyed, or outright explosive marine corps of customers. I was certainly tempted to snatch my phone up and threaten management with an on coming seizure and how I needed a break immediately. I’d be sure to scream it loud enough that any attorney within ear range would sign me up for their services.
Please understand in an eight hour shift, crew members only get two 15-minute breaks. I told myself with each temptation to just take a deep breath. “God, you lead.” When exhaling, I followed it with, “I’ll follow.” With each brief meditation and mantra I gripped the figure on my rosary-bracelet.
It was a virtually a miracle, not only was my anger kept in check, but I actually thought of my managers. Anger and pride were inhibited. I put myself in their shoes and knew they were probably having a worse time with people demanding all sorts of cleaning supplies and toilet paper and not even be able to tell them when the next shipment was to be expected. Thank God.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Confucius
I’ve fallen once again but am trying to stop again. I’m an alcoholic. I easily admit this publicly because I only seriously drank for 20-odd years, and I’ve been sober for 21. However, the smellier addiction I fought has always been nicotene. I have had nicotene in cartoons or roll your own cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vaporizors, or chew, be it in pure tobacco or nicotene gum. I have tried hundreds of times and hundreds of ways to quit. I’ve gotten advice from a multitude of ex-smokers.
(I’m further begging anyone out there to tell me what worked for them.)
I’ve continually fallen. After a short period of quitting & falling on my face, I’ve always concocted a new way to try. This time I downloaded some apps and using the internet for it’s inspiration. I know I may fail again, but I also know I’ll keep rising.