“Finding the courage to go to the places that scare us cannot happen without compassionate inquiry into the workings of ego. The Buddha taught that flexibility and openness bring strength and that running from groundlessness weakens us and brings pain. But do we understand that becoming familiar with the running away is the key? Openness doesn’t come from resisting our fears but from getting to know them well.”
Greetings from a grey (surprise, surprise!) and pink evening in Connemara. The sun is setting and we have streaks of pink and peach breaking the relentless grey we are becoming accustomed to these days. Delightful.
I have started with the above quote from Pema as the words courage and running away speak to me from two different aspects of my brain!
I have been reflecting lately on the two bike accidents I had and the common theme in them of crossing boundaries-one through opening the car door onto oncoming traffic without checking the side mirror and the second a hit and run.
Of the two the hit and run is a profound crossing of boundaries and I now know firsthand the devastation and pain that, that can cause, physically and mentally. I have spent many a night wondering who and why, who and why and I am now at the point where I accept I will never have answers to those two questions.
Where the courage comes to support me is in taking the focus off the external hit and run and taking these words and applying them to me.
Yes I have found the ways I hit and run myself.
One of the ways this manifests itself for me is in setting boundaries, hitting up against them and then running away as quick as I can for fear of implementing them. So I hit and run over and over and over.
Finally I am finding the courage to face the fears that lie behind this running. Dealing with the actual hit and run has helped orient me in the direction of courage, steadfastness and curiosity. Three supports to finding a new habit of implementing my own healthy boundaries and sticking with them to the point where I know they have either outlived their usefulness or need to be adapted or held on to for now.
As I know from my study of the workings of the brain this will take dedication and commitment to change a habit of a lifetime to a new and more useful one that can serve me and those I come in contact with better. It is a practice I am open to at last. So maybe the hit and run did serve a useful if painful purpose!