The Old Monk & the Beautiful Girl
It is a sad fact of life that we often cling to old pain, old betrayals-all the pains of our past life. We hold grudges and resentment against former friends, girlfriends and boyfriends, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, and of course, enemies. Like the disciple in our story, we choose to hold onto those negative feelings, allowing them to fester inside, and often allowing them to distort our view of other people to the point that we have a very difficult time engaging in healthy relationships, just as he began to do with his Master. What is the result of this? We become increasingly isolated, angry and hard to be around. In short, we hurt ourselves. There is no such thing as loving ourselves without first letting go of those resentments of the past. I'm not telling you this is an easy thing to do. It isn't. No matter how easy it might be for some to say "Love yourself", most don't know what love is or how it is expressed, so there is no question of loving themselves. And often we have bad definitions of these things, which lead to even more illusions. Love isn't accepting yourself just as you are, since you're not the optimal person you desire to be, otherwise you wouldn't be seeking spiritual answers to your mental and material miseries. Love is honest; brutally honest. And it begins with you; your faulty ideas, bad presuppositions, your hang-ups, your resentments, your anger, your sense of victimhood. Love is a characteristic of the warrior alone, not the willing victim who continues to live in a misery of his own making. Love is action; a sword that cuts through the emotional baggage of your past, revealing the core of the Self hidden inside! You can wield that sword and leave behind the ghosts of the past that keep you from happy, peaceful life, or you can be like the disciple in the story, and keep carrying that girl for miles and miles. The choice is yours.