The Spiritual Life: Cleaning Up Someone Else’s Mess

trash
By Inge Scott

Ram Dass, Wayne Dyer, Thich Nhat Hanh and many other Buddhist, spiritual leaders teach us to respond to anything that comes at us in life with love.

That idea is something I try my best to practice on a daily basis and for the most part, I’m getting better at it. However, to come from a compassionate loving place, especially interacting with another human—who is anything but that—is a very hard thing to do.

Depending on the circumstances it’s downright impossible, at least for me anyway.

I woke up to yelling and screaming outside my patio window at 3:00 am. I got up to see what was going on and saw a man and woman arguing. The man seemed to be the instigator and since I didn’t know what was going on, I opened my window and yelled at them, “I am calling the police!” The man responded by shouting a few curse words at me. They walked away, continuing their fight.

I went back to bed. A few hours later I woke up and when I went outside. I saw the remains of fast food and their containers thrown all over the sidewalk where the two had been fighting. I was going to let the incident go… until I saw the mess they left. Since I live in a condominium complex, there are no office managers to complain to, or someone who will clean up the mess. My husband had to do it before the ants showed up to feast.

Before I saw the food, I was annoyed but now I was angry! There was no way I was going to send these people love. I festered about it for the longest time. I even sat down to meditate, but I kept thinking how angry I was and if I saw them, I’d read them the riot act.

I finally did get a few minutes to sit in silence and contemplate what the spiritual teachers would do if they were in my shoes.

Maybe they would handle it differently. Maybe they would be just as pissed off. I won’t know the answer because—and I am guessing here, I don’t personally know them—publicly, they are living their lives as examples of how to be more loving and compassionate… even towards buttheads; it wouldn’t look good if a video circulated on social media of one of them having a meltdown.

I am not a spiritual teacher or anyone’s guru. I don’t even come close to living a compassionate life when it comes to dealing with those I consider to be “trouble.” All I can do is try to handle things better next time. Even though living a spiritual life is one of the hardest things I’ve ever attempted to do, it is well worth the effort.

 

Inge ScottInge “Ingebird” Scott is a self-described, middle-aged, non-conformist bohemian chick, exploring her spiritual side. The teaching she resonates most with is Buddhist Philosophy, although she practices other forms of spirituality as well. She decided to take her spiritual practice seriously after surviving cancer. She practices yoga, loves animals and is vegan. Read more at her blog.

 

Photo: (source)

Editor: Alicia Wozniak

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The Tattooed Buddha

The Tattooed Buddha was founded by Buddhist author Ty Phillips and Dana Gornall. What started out as a showcase for Ty's writing, quickly turned into collaboration with creative writer, Dana Gornall and the home for sharing the voices of friends and colleagues in the writing community. The Tattooed Buddha strives to be a noncompetitive, open space for the author’s authentic voice. So while not necessarily Buddhist, we are offering a dialogue that is aware and awake to the reality of our present day to day, tackling issues of community, environment, and compassionate living.

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By | 2016-10-14T07:50:15+00:00 September 8th, 2015|Beginner Meditation, blog, Buddhism, Featured|0 Comments

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