“Basic goodness” and “enlightened society” are key concepts in the Shambhala tradition. However, “good” here does not mean good as opposed to bad, but rather “pure, intrinsically good.” That is, despite our struggles and confusion, there is something essentially good about our existence as human beings.”–Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche Dragon, 2013.
We are reminded of the words of Anna Frank: “Despite everything, I believe people are really good at heart.”
Each day is a new beginning…a new day to accept the goodness in oneself and leave all the unsolved mysteries behind us…and go forward believing in ourselves and in one another. More and more I see how it is important to think the best of the other…to always believe that inside of themselves are the good intentions…that good intention is what motivates them to be joyful and to give without asking in return.
We have been trained so often in our lives to think that things are not possible. We may have experienced numerous occasions when we were told: “That is not right!” “You almost have it!” “No, that is not the correct approach.” We are steeped in doubts about our selves. We think we are never quite “good enough.” What does that mean anyway, “not good enough?” We hear these negative messages over and over and are told, “No, this is not meant for you”…”You are too old for this position”…”You are over qualified”…”You ask too many questions”…”You have to learn to play the game”…”You should not think so differently”…”You have no choices in life. There is this little dot. That is you…and everything else around you is beyond you or your influence.” WOW! All of those negative things I have heard repeatedly, over and over, in my lifetime.
Now, I am called upon to turn-off those negative thoughts. For our thoughts become our actions…our way of being! I am replacing them with love and gentleness towards myself–I look into the mirror each morning and say, “Jane, I love you!” Hey, why not? Why are we so quick to say the negative to ourselves—NO, we need to shout, “Stop!” when those things come into our brains and begin speaking gentle, loving thoughts to that inner child. It is good to be good to yourself! Fortunately I came upon this quote in Rebecca Budd’s blog, CelebrationART: July 2014 (http://celebrationart.blogspot.ca/) :“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” Martha Graham
This quote and the use of it by Rebecca Budd gave me the impetus to move on!
I have tried many different paths…I have succeeded in each one for a time. Then, that path ends and a new one emerges. However, each time, it seems it has taken a bit longer for me to see in which direction to go. The rejections have worn me down. Then I have to begin to remember the positives of each experience. Yes, it is difficult for me. I will tell the truth –sometimes months—the ultimate rejection and end of each segment of my life—almost unbearable. Then somehow, something occurs, mystically, and breaks through the clouds of depression and a ray of sunlight begins to light the path for me again. Once more, I gather up my courage and begin the walk down the path. I do not know how I manage to get going, but I have to believe in myself to get back up and start again. I will tell you many, many tears are shed before this happens. Depression hits me deeply. Then out of nowhere, someone comes along and lifts me out of it. Each time, an unknown person, suddenly enters my life–they may only stay for a little span of time–maybe they are present to me in a single word or the speaking of one sentence–but they stay long enough to listen…to allow me to be me …that person gives me enough to spur me onwards! This moment then speaks to me of the intrinsic goodness of humans! For this one person helps me to move bravely forward into living again! I cannot stress enough how much what we say, what we do, affects one another…how much we may influence another, even though we may be completely unaware of our impact. This knowledge brings with it a great responsibility on my part. I know I must be more careful of “right speech,” “right action,” and “right thought.” I also know I fail at it miserably–but all I can do is ask forgiveness…and move on and try to be a better person in my next moment of living.
This last time, it has taken a long, long time for a path to come my way. I began this blog in the Fall of 2011. I think one of my former students told me about WordPress–yes, “the student becomes the teacher.” Another student, Huzaifa, said to me, “Ms. Johann, don’t waste your life playing Farmville!” I admit that I had become somewhat addicted to it and was the proud owner of eight imaginary farms. What this student said to me was not lost on me. It woke me up! Then I began this blog…the first year I did not write much. I was so hesitant to put my thoughts out into the universe. I was frightened by my thoughts. I was frightened by how others would react to what I said. But, little by little, I put my thoughts out there.
I know I am not a great writer and probably everything that can be said in this limited world of ours has already been said. But I do know that writing gives me purpose and maybe no one says it quite like I may say it…so I continue writing.
So, believe in each other. Encourage each other! Forgive each other — because we are all humans — we are all struggling on the path to wholeness. We need each other and we need compassion for one another as we continue towards the LIGHT. Above all, believe in the intrinsic goodness of each human being! and in yourself! Take your heart off of the fencepost and give your heart to yourself (that is most important) and to those you meet along the way!