Healing personal relationships and dealing with sadness

Unhappiness happens even on the spiritual path. I’ve been accused of being unhappy despite my spiritual practice. The suggestion is that once you are firmly on the path, you should be happy all the time. But living in this world means dealing with the ups and downs of life. For example, when someone you love stops wanting to spend time with you, it may make you unhappy, even if you are firmly grounded in your belief that life is a learning experience designed for our own evolution; an evolution that leads to an understanding of the interconnectedness of the Whole. I’m dealing with some of this right now, so let’s talk about human interactions, which can be difficult at times. For me, being on the path means realizing that none of it is personal. I see how I’ve been on both the giving and receiving end of dissing a friend. I know that when I was the one doing the dissing, I was so caught up in my own personal problems and life drama that it was not personal; I didn’t even realize I was doing it. When I am on the receiving end of the dissing, I try to realize the same thing: it isn’t personal; deep down it has nothing to do with me. It may even be part of a larger picture: It is always interesting to me that when I am going through something shitty, it seems that other friends are having similar experiences. Sort of like the Universe deciding, “today there will be rain.” Today, there will be friend issues. Tomorrow there may be car trouble, but the day after that, skies are clear for some fun times. It makes me take life less personally. Taking things personally makes the sadness “stick” longer in my experience. But how can we take anything others do personally? We all live in our own personal movie, our own dramas, where we are the stars. If I am angry at someone else, it is because of the story I have in my head about that person, based upon my perception of reality, which is shaped by my own unique life experiences, many going back to childhood. How can my anger really have anything to do with the other person? My anger is all about me. That does not mean the anger does not hurt or that, on a certain level, it is not justified. But being on the path means recognizing the cause and effect relationship of our emotions. It means recognizing the effect of karma.  Karma simply means you reap what you sow. If you plant “Y” seeds, you will harvest “Y” fruit; if you plant “X” seeds, you will harvest “X” fruit. If you plant anger seeds, you will reap anger fruit. If you plant loving seeds, you will reap loving fruit. There does not even need to be a judgment about it. In other words, that planting “bad” seeds makes “bad” fruit or that “good” seeds make “good” fruit. One person’s good is another person’s bad. The Universe does not judge. You simply reap what you sow. If you plant seeds of blocking others out of your heart, then expect to reap fruit of others blocking you out of their heart. Not necessarily or even usually the same person.  For example, block your mother out of your heart, and your best friend may block you out of her heart. Block your ex-husband, and your child may block you. We create stories for why we are justified in blocking our mother, our father, our ex-spouses: because they are assholes, they deserve it, they wronged us, etc. But all it does is create a cause and effect relationship. It comes back to us, and hurts us in the end.  For me, the old way was to cut off someone who “wronged” me. I can look back over my life and see a history of break ups, not just lovers but besties, where something went wrong and I decided that person did not deserve my love or attention anymore. Now I am finding that is impossible. Even if someone decidedly does not “deserve” my love because of some perceived wrongdoing, I feel a deeper hurt from blocking the love than I do by letting it flow. Sadness, unhappiness come with the hurt, but they also pass with time. Like storm clouds, they pass with time. Sometimes, we come under the mistaken impression that we can avoid heartbreak by cutting the object of our heartbreak out of our heart, thereby preventing the same heartbreak from happening again. But the heartbreak just reaps more heartbreak. And you may find, as I have, that it is impossible to cut someone out of your heart; you may find that you continue to think about that person and that they continue to be involved in your mind drama – whether it is the mind drama of sending them daggers of hate or light rays of love. Its our choice. Even when we are successful in physically removing someone from our life, I have found that we must still deal with that person on a mental, emotional level and that we cannot remove someone from our emotional life by deciding with our mind that they deserve our hate. All we will do is reap more hate.  So being on the spiritual path does not mean never being unhappy; but it does mean looking for deeper reasons behind the unhappiness; looking inward at the cause and effect relationship of the karma I am sowing and the fruit I am reaping. How can I be mad at a bestie who does not want to spend time with me, when I am doing something similar to another bestie, for example? I truly believe that once I have healed all my own heartbreak, once I have torn down all my own walls that I have put up to justify blocked love, I will stop hurting so deeply when it happens to me. I don’t think it means that I will never be sad; but I do believe that by being connected to the deeper peace underneath the sadness that the sadness will transmute and leave me faster than it would otherwise. If we take the sad life experiences as a tool for learning, we can look inward and realize how we are reaping what we sowing, and, with that knowledge, empower ourselves to grow and change. Even by just sitting with the pain and letting it be, or by trying to connect and feel love toward the object of your anger or sadness on a deep level (sometimes you have to go really deep!), you may find that the sadness lifts and the drama fades. You are really healing yourself; you are healing a bit of your hurt heart. You are breaking down a wall that you put up most likely as a child.  Then (bear with me a minute while I geek out with this example), it is like the Legend of Zelda video game, when you unlock a secret and you hear that sweet little musical sound. You’ve figured something in one area of the game, and it has unlocked a secret passage in a whole different area of the game. Heal your own heartbreak, break down your own heart walls, and watch as a whole different area of your life opens up. Watch your relationships heal.

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