I can see why you weren’t interested in dissecting where miscommunication occurred or in trying to understand what led to our dissent. It’s late, you’re irritated at something that happened earlier with your phone, you didn’t take well to a comment of mine, and maybe more didn’t go right for you.

When is the right time to try to understand?

Having listened to the first of Pema Chödrön’s lectures about finding freedom from destructive emotions on the commute to work today, I was paying unusually close attention to the ebb and flow of my emotions and so I noticed keenly the moments when sparks of anger tried to ignite, the moments when irritation and impatience arose and threatened to color my actions. I thought about not biting the hook, about noticing and allowing those emotions and then trying to use them to understand and be compassionate instead of being irritated, angered, disappointed; my endeavor was to try to be patient instead of being addicted to ‘me’ and all of my troubles. It was an interesting internal struggle. I can see that really applying the audiobook’s ideas is going to be difficult, most especially in the framework of any relationship between people, and I can see that in the great challenge lies the huge potential for development.

We don’t really have to try to understand the source of any miscommunication, or dig into our problems in search of answers, or ask difficult questions of ourselves and of each other, or do the work to make things better.  Then I suppose I’d be living someone else’s life, delegating those things I’m afraid to face and letting life pass by.

If this is to be the reaction to the smaller concerns of daily life, can we expect a different approach when it comes to future challenges like the raising and education of children?


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