Divide the Facts from the Fiction… and True Clarity Will Follow

Happy Sunday to you, friends! I wish you a beautiful day and an inspired practice day.

These past few weeks I’ve been working through a difficult and painful challenge in my personal life. I’ll tell you more about that when the time is right, but for now I want to share something with you on a process level that I’ve been seeing.

I often tell people that when they are faced with difficult circumstances, and when they find themselves suffering over those circumstances, it’s good to divide the things they are experiencing that are authentic from the things that are not. The things we experience which are authentic are those which are real, direct, and natural responses to our circumstances. The things we experience which are artificial are those that come not from real circumstances, but rather from conversations within conditioned mind about fictional things. We need to embrace the authentic aspects of our experience wholeheartedly in love, acceptance, and compassion. The inauthentic aspects of our experience, which are all the results of patterns of conditioned thought, need to be relentlessly and mercilessly rooted out of our consciousness. We need to drop those thoughts, in other words, over and over and over again, until they cease to impact our experience. This of course is an incredibly difficult thing to do, and the more painful and full of feeling the situation is that we’re responding to, the more difficult it is to let go in this way. That is in fact what we need to do, however–and once we’ve managed to let go of the conditioned thought patterns we need to turn our attention to the authentic feelings that are there, and hold them in unconditional love and understanding.

That’s what I’ve been practicing these past weeks. Sometimes it’s been very difficult to see what is authentic and what has been imported from my past, to say it in different words. I feel a responsibility to become as clear as I possibly can about that distinction; otherwise I will do harm and hurt to the other people involved by putting things onto them that happened to me a long time ago. It can be a meticulous, grinding process to separate the facts from the fictions, but it needs to be done, and that’s what I’ve endeavored to do. As I have, gradually clarity has arisen, and the self-compassion that we all live in need of has grown and solidified.

I offer the same practice today to you. No matter what your circumstances are, no matter if you also are facing challenging times at the moment, or if life is sweet and easy, it’s good to remember that we project things from our past onto our present circumstances, and to do the work, moment by moment and day by day, of living here in the moment with what actually is, rather than living in some unhappy past right here in our present circumstances. This is the work that produces real clarity. This clarity is the place of love and self-acceptance, and from this clarity powerful, disinterested, and compassionate action can emerge.

Thanks for listening, kind friends. More soon.

In peace,

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