When Pema Chodron talks about shenpa, she refers to living intimately with others.
Her teachings have made me aware that my irritations are my own issues. My knowledge of this human response keeps me aware of the lessons I would like to learn instead of thinking that I must teach someone else.
“Aha!” she says as she lives with four other women for a month.
This pleasure trip could have become a nightmare if I had mindlessly and habitually closed my heart and opened my mouth. Instead, it has been a wonderful practice. My moments of irritation, self-righteousness, and assumed martyrdom were contained within my thoughts long enough to sift a bit of ego from the mix before pouring out respect and consideration when I finally spoke.
I feel encouraged. Not because I did it perfectly (Not!), but because I was aware of the pitfalls much of the time. I was happy to have remembered Pema’s words when I began to shrink into the seclusion of resentment. It helped me to make my times of isolation short and the joys of sharing more bountiful.
Once again, thank you, Pema.
I am astounded. My self-discovery is taking me on voyages into the uncharted waters of my life.
I have read Deepak Chopra for years. He constantly asks me to strive for self-referral. Oprah’s lesson is the False Power of Ego. And Eckhart Telle would also have much to say about ego: the need for the control, the need for approval, and the need to judge. (Some of that for another day.)
What do I have to say to myself? How did it take you so long to figure this one out?
When I have been forced to evaluate the difference in who I want to be and how I want to live in juxtaposition to how I have been doing just that, it requires a hard look at why.
I have tried to blame it on everyone and everything. The truth is simply that I am constantly on the lookout for what others are thinking and feeling. If there are various groups and I can’t please everyone, I suppose I please the group most like my own tribe. After all, that’s where I have lived all these years.
When I write “pleaser”, another mini-shock ripples through my psyche. In all my years of calling myself a pleaser, I have never looked at it from the viewpoint of seeking approval. Rather, I have felt that pleasing was some sort of subjugation of my own needs in order to serve those of others. I may not have thought it was a good thing…but I didn’t get that it would never work.
Then, after all of that pleasing, I vainly been trying to figure out how to “take care of myself”.
What a tedious waste of time!
I know that it’s all interrelated and I am gobsmacked by the intense resonation that I have hit on something big in my life.
I have foundered on the shore of approval.