Last time I spoke about tolerance towards others and refraining from criticism. I have been pondering tolerance and forgiveness and came to see that what we really need to 'tolerate' is ourselves..our own views of what should or shouldn't happen.
I then read more from Eckhart Tolle, and wanted to picture his theory which rings so true to me. I'll try to draw it for you all for next week.
If you're not spiritual you can perceive yourself as having 2 minds, as opposed to a mind and an essence or soul.
When we say "I'll allow myself this", "I tell myself that"..(the french are big on reflexive verbs), who is the I and who is the self? We can often hear our own internal monologue..that voice in our head telling us we are no good or someone else is no good. We are aware of our thinking. The one who is aware is the true you. This doesn't change.
Throughout our life we adopt various identities or labels, explanations that may hinder or help us understand 'who we are'..I am shy, or I love people, or I am no good...all of these things change throughout our lives, we can learn to change these characteristics..how we react to the world and interact. Obviously negative beliefs about ourselves make us feel bad and more often than not positive beliefs help us to feel good, or give us confidence. These are just thoughts..constructs of our minds, so should be careful that we are not giving ourselves a superior position to others, making just another judgement about ourselves that reaffirms an identity..as if we should deviate from this identity we may suffer. This hungry mental image of ourselves which loves to be superior, special, right etc..is called The Ego.
Allowing ourselves to just be in the present moment dissolves judgements, criticism, expectations etc and it CAN be done. It is a very relaxing place to be. It doesn't mean becoming a vegetable and not thinking at all. On the contrary, you utilise your mind as you require it, you are no longer a slave to your exhausting
Among these identities is a list of rules we apply to our lives but also others...people SHOULD be kind, or SHOULDN'T eat meat..people SHOULD be christian etc etc.
When the world or people's actions don't meet with our approval, we respond with feelings of frustration, anger, jealousy etc. In 'trying' to be tolerant sometimes we think "I will let them off not doing what they SHOULD have done"..and believe we are the better person for doing so. Let's stick with the dishwasher example "They should have done the dishwasher, but I'll let them off"..we then expect in our own mental image of right and wrong that they should be perhaps grateful, or makeup for it..this expectation is a similar energy to when you give somebody something or do a favour and expect a great reward in return (be honest! Lol). We are yet again trapped inside our own judgements of what life SHOULD be..rather than letting it just BE.
When we reject a situation - the current 'event' - in our lives, we are essentially saying we reject it. And to be at war with life is not a good place to be. Allow the reality of the current situation in..be in it, and if you have any negative feelings, be aware of them and allow them to pass gently. Do not feed this negative energy with more thoughts....the thoughts give power to this emotion...the irritability turns to anger, which turns to rage and becomes harder and harder to let go of.
Forgiveness loses meaning when you are in this space. By 'forgiving' you label that person's actions as WRONG..and you are right..because in order to be right, they have to be wrong. People can make mistakes..sometimes the washing machine might have been switched to 90 degrees in error...when you're in a space of non-judgement you only see the practical thoughts..the planning the correction..OK let's check if the clothes are ok and if not then we get new ones somehow. Nothing ever really becomes a PROBLEM.
Humans' natural state is happy..we don't put happiness in to become happy. You will be pleased to know, that you just 'remove the crap' as a dear friend put it the other day. We are very powerful beings and are naturally compassionate and kind. You KNOW you are..you don't need labels. You know you can rise above the thoughts..it may be hard and take practice. When you hear a thought being generated, stop it in it's tracks. The fact that you are aware of the thought is the first step and a great breakthrough. Don't brood on it, let it pass, it will lose it's power.