Inside every human being there is a fight that can’t be won. It’s a fight between dualities, between head and heart, left brain and right brain, short term pleasure and long term results.
It’s a fight that can’t be eliminated, but with compassion and kindness, that fight can truly become a great inspiration and asset.
To live with kindness we need to acknowledge this internal battle as the inner fight and let it do for us as nature intended: The inner struggle will do what nature intended it to do if we stop fighting it. So, rather than fight it, we need to follow nature’s guide to reconcile that struggle and use it to our own advantage.
You already know that one satisfied desire simply leads to another desire, this is at the heart of this inner conflict. The notion of contentment, inner peace, happiness is therefore, in a real life of achievement and materiality, a myth.
If we focus our life on achieving happiness, contentment, inner peace, or even peace we will live deep into the moment, and in the process sacrifice the long term. The pain of regret always outweighs the pain of discipline. People who seek short term pleasure experience long term pain. It’s the inner conflict of being human repeated in nature and repeated over and over in our own life.
Disappointment in SEEKING HAPPINESS
The person who thinks that their next decision, next workshop, next weight loss program will bring them to contentment and satisfaction with life, for the rest of their life is never confident, always disappointed and therefore unable to be kind, either to themselves, or others. You know that there are supposedly two sides to the brain, left brain logic and right brain sensory emotion, and these two sides are continually wrestling for superiority. Which will you trust today – the logical and pragmatic answer that’s going to create long term results with short term pain, or the emotional sensory answer that is in the moment that has short term pleasure and long term pain. Pain and pleasure, always balance in the end, the question is just about time frame.
RELATIONSHIPS AND THE MYTH OF CONTENTMENT
My story…. Many years ago I was in a good relationship but a little bored with life. All was on track. One day, I went to a Yoga class and was taught a myth. I saw a gorgeous yoga teacher, with a great body, speaking about love and life purpose and happiness. I went home and suddenly felt discontent with my own, perfectly good relationship. What my life looked like, compared to the promise of the Eastern teaching was shit. I started to feel resentful and wrote, “this yoga teacher has shown me that there is more to life than a regular relationship, that there is a mystical, spiritual, good feeling outcome to life that I am not experiencing” Months later, my partner had an affair. She just needed a real man in her life, not one comparing her and his relationship with her, to a myth. I eventually wrote “after three years of doing yoga, living in India, I’ve had a few relationships and have come to the conclusion that even that yoga teacher I infatuated was boring outside the yoga room, and all the guru’s are not all happy, they are normal and sad and angry outside of the yoga class, the theory that was sold to me, and in all the books about being happy and spiritual, was about moments in time in life, truly presented it was not sustainable. It was never meant to be a permanent state of mind, rather, it was meant to be a place to return to in our mind, a place we call home.
The Real Story
I think that if we are to live our life with kindness, we are wise to reject what doesn’t work. The unhappiest, loneliest, most regretful people I have met listen to self-help guru’s, read books about self-help and watch tv shows that demonstrate half life reality. They get sadder and listen longer.
I find that to go sit under a tree without a book and start to witness life, as it really is, makes strength of conviction to follow my heart and do what I do with love and inspiration. This gives me a beautiful understanding of compassion and kindness and then it starts to emerge organically, not theoretically or forced. Sitting under the tree looking around at nature we see that we are, like nature, a contradiction between the now and the future.
In Nature there is always a contradiction. The flower looks perfect, but at the same time, it is impermanent and must die to the earth to make space for more. The happiness of the moment and the pain of discipline always arguing. Pleasure and pain, in harmony.
We are nature. We are both happy and sad, we are smart and dumb. We are growing and shrinking. We are good and bad. We are enlightened and endarkened. We are a sweet and sour. The more we fake being half of one of those contradictory pairs, like I did, trying to emulate the yoga teacher outside the yoga class, the darker our home life or work life will have to become in order to find balance.
Kindness starts with compassion for our true nature and rejecting the half notion that if we change something, do something or create something we will be different. How can kindness be based on anything changing? If our giving is based on some idea of changing something, somebody, making someone happier or better or smarter, then our kindness is not kindness, it is the desire to change, and that lacks appreciation, assumes that, at sometime in the future appreciation will arrive.
Really, if we are trying to fix something, or somebody, we are being judgemental and that is the opposite to kindness.
Following nature’s law, if you say to yourself “I am stupid” then with kindness you will add “and the benefit is that I am so open to learn, I remain a student” but if you say “I am stupid” with anger toward yourself, you cannot ever be kind to yourself, or for that matter others. So, kindness and compassion require that we unlearn, or discard ideas of half life, half emotion, half experience.
Giving kindness requires that you have compassion for yourself – then you will not be hard on others. Some people are hard on themselves, they might even be cruel, a bully, a change agent, a therapist or a teacher of Eastern arts who believes everybody needs to change to their way of thinking. That’s anarchy.
We can’t give what we haven’t got. If we have no compassion for ourselves, then we cannot give kindness to others. That’s a no brainer really. And compassion for ourselves can only come from the acceptance of the struggle between the inner conflicts: Short term versus long term, left brain versus right brain, heart versus mind. These are irreconcilable differences. The inner conflict is a part of being human. Learning to love this inner conflict is the route to stillness and ultimately, self-respect.
The danger is to become disconnected from nature and live according to books and ideals of who we should or could be if we were different. Then the outcome is to live the half life of the mundane. That comes from trying to find the place in life where only half of the emotional keyboard plays, and the other darker keys become an escape obsession. Blaming any sadness, anger, disappointment on a partner, friend and business colleague.
Kindness means acceptance. That’s the first key to a great loving relationship and the most vital key to good parenting. It starts with a single choice… The choice to stop criticising our life, ourselves and our actions as being anything but beautiful, perfect and love generating. That’s really life’s purpose summarised.
THINK INSPIRED – LIVE INSPIRED