Now the last: the relinquishment of all negative feelings. I want to mention just one negative feeling which the nicest people still experience, and that negative feeling is worry. Worry is not concern which would motivate you to do everything possible in a situation. Worry is a useless mulling over of things we cannot change. Let me mention just one technique. Seldom do you worry about the present moment; it's usually all right. If you worry, you agonize over the past which you should have forgotten long ago, or you're apprehensive over the future which hasn't even come yet. We tend to skim right over the present time. Since this is the only moment that one can live, if you don't live it you never really get around to living at all. If you do live this present moment, you tend not to worry. For me, every moment is a new opportunity to be of service.I don't know why negative feelings are so addictive but I do know that this addiction is one worth breaking. We do this not by judging our feelings but by accepting them, choosing not to give them energy and then by letting them go. I love how Peace Pilgrim talks about her decision to stop hurting herself. We can do that too.
One last comment about negative feelings which helped me very much at one time and has helped others. No outward thing - nothing, nobody from without - can hurt me inside, psychologically. I recognized that I could only be hurt psychologically by my own wrong actions, which I have control over; by my own wrong reactions - they are tricky but I have control over them, too; or by my own inaction in some situations, like the present world situation, that needs actions from me. When I recognized all this, how free I felt! And I just stopped hurting myself. Now someone could do the meanest thing to me and I would feel deep compassion for this out-of-harmony person, this psychologically sick person who is capable of doing mean things. I certainly would not hurt myself by a wrong reaction of bitterness or anger. You have complete control over whether or not you will be hurt psychologically, and any time you want to, you can stop hurting yourself.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
More from Peace Pilgrim
As you know, Peace Pilgrim is somone who walked for peace - without possessions, without money. She depended on the kindness of people who would give her food and shelter for the duration of her twenty-eight year pilgrimage. In her remarks about attaining inner peace she talks about the importance of relinquishments. Here's part of what she said: