“Teach us to care and not to care.
Teach us to sit still.”
Both ends of the spectrum of caring—caring and not caring— have value and need to be considered. We do care about those we love. We care about many issues that seem vital to life. But when we care too much it ends up hurting everyone.
We find ourselves becoming resentful and our heart becomes bitter and hard.
So how much do we care? How much should we care?
How attached are we to outcomes?
When is caring really just worrying or trying to control?
When I closely examine the underlying emotions of my “caring” I discover I am worrying more than true caring. Real caring is genuine interest in how the other is doing and wishing them the very best, letting go of how it affects us. Although it includes noticing our emotions, breathing with them and letting them be just what they are. Emotions are always on the move—energy in motion. Emotions don’t last on their own. We must recreate them by thinking the same thoughts over and over.
Through investigation of my thoughts and emotions I discover that I want others to get well, straighten their lives out, etc. so that I can be comfortable. It turns out to be about me more than about the other.
Which means I’m not trusting the journey of those I love and care about. Trust is the underlying issue.
I’m not comfortable because I don’t trust universal creative energy. I’m not trusting the soul of the other and think I must somehow guide this person or fix what I perceive as broken or damaged.
I’m seeing others as victims instead of creations of God.
Does God create victims? I think not. I believe the True Essence of each being on the planet is radiant beauty and goodness. The Spirit within each of us is our Truth, and Truth cannot be lost or damaged.
But we can make choices that are unskillful. This is part of being human. We have choice. By living the consequences of our choices we learn skillful actions. And it takes as long as it takes.
Thus I need to trust each soul to learn and to mature in their own time and way. This includes myself.
To do this I need to learn to sit still. Ah, this is a practice worth cultivating. It is called mindful meditation.
To be mindful we practice equanimity. We learn to come back to center and remember that we don’t know where our own, or another’s journey will take us, and to trust something higher and wiser than our own rational thought.
Equanimity means letting go of opinions of what others should do or not do.
As I do this on a daily basis I can better discern how I can be truly helpful. I learn how to offer the resources that will help and not cause codependence. Then my gifts will help strengthen, rather than weaken.
Sitting quietly, observing my emotions, letting them be, watching them come and go, quiets the mind so that the light can reveal the next step. My attention brings light into the darkness. What is in the shadows begins to be seen. And I can choose more skillfully what to do next.
This is a process. I learn from my mistakes. I feel whatever passes through me, be it angst, fear, anger or joy. I do my best to let the emotions be, watch and wait.
Spirit reveals itself as the mind gets calm. Even when I’m sure I will die, I find life goes on. Fear tries to protect, but it only weakens. Love is the healer. Merciful caring is love in action.
Touching the wounds with love heals. We turn towards our fear, rather than away. Fear does not protect us.
Phrases I often use to remind myself of my job are:
All beings are owners of their actions, heirs to their actions. Their happiness or unhappiness depends upon their actions and not my wishes.
All beings have their own journey according to their karma.
May you live in kindness,