Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Inner Knots

According to a book I am reading by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hahn, whenever we have a bad experience or we feel negative emotions, we can create inner knots within ourselves. If we don’t get past the experience or over the emotion these knots just get tighter and harder. If we continue to have bad experiences or negative emotions we begin to accumulate these inner knots and they start affecting our entire lives. Thich Nhat Hahn suggests mindfulness as a way to loosen and untie these knots. By being mindful, and with some practice, we can learn to step outside our experiences and emotions and look at them more objectively. We can ask ourselves such questions as “Why was this such a bad experience for me”? or “Why do I feel this way”? When we can look at our reactions and emotions more objectively we can begin to understand them. The more we understand our own behavior, especially bad behavior or negative emotions, the more we can prevent it. I am at a point in my life where I can often see my dysfunctional self coming down the road a mile away. When I see him coming I take steps to prevent his arrival. I am more successful now than when I was younger. Age has also taught me other lessons. I prevent many inner knots from forming because I realize now that life is too short. I have learned to not take things too personally and to let many things go. I have learned to build bridges rather than burn them. I know what it’s like to struggle with life so I cut other people some slack whenever possible. True to my nature, I am a peacemaker. There is enough pain in this world. Why would I want to create more? There are too many negative feelings and emotions. If I can do anything to make another person’s life better, or to loosen their inner knots, why would I not want to do that? Choose goodness. Be a light in the darkness. Loosen the knots within yourself and don’t create them within others.

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