I was in the midst of an emotional drama when I discovered a piece by Ram Dass that helped renew my perspective. My feelings were all over the place. I spent a lot of mental energy trying to figure out ways to make others behave in a way that was pleasing to me, but nothing seemed to work and that frustrated me even more. It was always someone else who had done something to make me react or respond. I wanted everyone and everything around me to change, to become what would give me to the space to be the happy, peaceful and pleasant person I knew I could be — if everyone would just let me! I felt powerless, discouraged and distressed…but it wasn’t my fault, I insisted. It was maddening and miserable.
Plenty of people have the habit of giving their power away in the exact same way and it’s time to call all of your energy back where it belongs.
Raise your hand if you are highly sensitive and have a lot of feelings that often throw you into an emotional tailspin. Okay, now keep it up if you’re ready to move away from a destructive pattern that leaves you feeling out of control and at the whim of the ways of the world.
Ram Dass writes:
If somebody is a problem for you, it’s not that they should change, it’s that you need to change. If they’re a problem for themselves that’s their karma, if they’re causing you trouble that’s your problem on yourself. So, in other words when Christ is crucified, he says “forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing”, they’re not a problem for him, he’s trying to get them out of being a problem for themselves, because he’s clear. Your job is to clear yourself. In ideal situations you would clear yourself within the situation, but very often it’s too thick and you can’t do that.
Now, what you do then is you pull back and you do the stuff you do in the morning or at night before you go to work, you do the stuff on weekends, you do the stuff that quiets you down and then each time you go into the situation to where you have to work, you lose it again. And then you go home and you see how you lost it, and you examine it, and then you go the next day and you lose it again, and you go home and you keep a little diary “how did I lose it today”, and you saw that, and then you go and you do it again, and after a while as you’re starting to lose it you don’t buy in so much. You start to watch the mechanics of what it is that makes you lose it all the time.
If I’m not appreciated, that’s your problem that you don’t appreciate me. Unless I need your love, then it’s my problem. So my needs are what are giving you the power over me. Those people’s power over you to take you out of your equanimity and love and consciousness has to do with your own attachments and clingings of mind. That’s your work on yourself, that’s where you need to meditate more, it’s where you need to reflect more, it’s where you need a deeper philosophical framework, it’s where you need to cultivate the witness more, it’s where you need to work on practicing opening your heart more in circumstances that aren’t optimum. This is your work. You were given a heavy curriculum, that’s it. There’s no blame, it’s not even wrong, it’s just what you’re given. You hear what I’m saying? It’s interesting. Can you all hear that one?
*Special note that during these strange and disturbing times following the election that I am never trying to water down the very real and very heartbreaking reality that these methods of “vibrating higher” or “working on self” can and will ring extremely hollow. If any of these words help soothe, please consume. If not, please find your correct medicine for these times.