The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, March 28, 2014

How To Pick Up Girls!

There is a story about two monks walking in the woods.  They come to a stream.  A beautiful woman asks them if they will help her across.  They are of a sect forbidden contact with women, so the younger monk is shocked when the older one picks up the woman and carries her across, then sets her down on the far bank.

The two walk on for several miles, and then the young monk explodes: “I can’t believe you picked up that woman!” he says.
The older monk smiles mildly.  “I put her down on the river bank.  I can’t believe you’re still carrying her.”
We always do the very best we can with the resources we have. Today you have different resources than you had yesterday. A critical  distinction is between "responsibility" and guilt, blame, or shame. Response-Ability is literally "the ability to respond." Without that, you are adrift, your agency destroyed by negative emotion.  No one who has ever been born is better than you.  The only “cost” for living in this reality is giving up the notion that you are better than anyone else.   The only cost for forgiving yourself enough to drop your baggage and evolve is forgiving those who have damaged you.   

Forgiving is NOT forgetting.  It is NOT allowing them to hurt you again.
You don’t forgive others for their benefit, but for yours.  The only reason you cannot is fear that if you don’t, you will be hurt again.  That means there is no actual deep trust for your own soul and being.    Start with love.    Abandon the need to be better than others.  You are enough in and of yourself, without comparisons to others.  All comparisons to others are within the “dream” of life, not the reality.  It is fine to play such games, but they must not be mistaken for reality.   One of my mentors once said, “you can enjoy playing Monopoly, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you can live on Boardwalk or Park Place.”

Love yourself.  Forgive--but don’t take any shit, either.     Seek truth, taking balanced goals within the “dream” of life, and notice the results without being attached to them.   Remember: At every moment of your life, you’ve done the best you could with the resources you had.

And so has everyone else.


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