Sunday, September 26, 2010

An Old Script

What had started out as a sweet morning walk, quickly turned into a battle of wills. "Let's go straight on Stanford Avenue". "No, let's make a right turn along the soccer field, there is more shade" . . . Loved one had some definite ideas about which path to take, and so did I. The intense sun was adding to the unpleasantness, and someone had to oblige. No point in arguing, I decided to let him have his way. Inside, not so calm, though . . . There was a sudden surge of outrage, and powerlessness, and sadness. And nasty thoughts about 'him'. In a matter of minutes, I had shrunk back to the little girl I once was. And he had become the authoritarian father whom I had resented so much.

In silence, we walked. He, still miffed about having had to fight his way. And, I, processing the whole thing. The little girl had power on me, and refused to let go, for a long time. Or rather, I could not let go of it. The more time I spent feeling the stickiness, the less I cared about loved one's airs. He had his own stuff to contend with, and I could see how tied up he was also. Some ideas of self are harder to let go than others. The older the attachment, the stronger its grip.

Oh! the joy, as I was able to clearly see for the first time, the arising of the little girl self, and its exact connection with the arising of the controlling father self in loved one.

We need the reflection of our own being in others in order to see ourselves clearly. When there is disharmony with another person, it is a mirror image of ourselves. There can be no disharmony with others if we feel harmonious within ourselves. A mirror image does not lie. 
~ Ayya Khema, Be An Island ~

Just the life lesson I needed to drive home the reality of self and not self. The powerless child is only a passing phenomena, and one I can learn to part from over time. There is a strong woman waiting in the wing. She is wise, and strong, and does not react to patriarchal ways. She only responds to the needs of the moment.

What are some old scripts by which you still live your life? What conditions reactivate them? 


  1. Hi Marguerite, thank you much for sharing.

    An old script or habit to me is comparing myself with others and by doing that invoking thoughts of being better respectively worse - consequently feeling strengthened or - on the other hand - weakened - it depends. Such comparing usually is also followed by wanting to change myself or others, to let myself or others not just be. It is somehow like it was in school, like playing teachers and pupils within my mind, giving grades, thinking this is right and that is wrong…and then be good, better, best…Competition based on group pressure which I think I must allow.. It mostly happens when I feel tired or wounded.

    As I am practicing acceptance, letting myself and others just be - comparing and competing is not central anymore and also happens not so often. Instead I discover the possibility and ability to maintain an awareness of stillness connected with warmth. This validates more and more that it really is enough to simply notice what is going on. “What gets awareness, changes” - by itself. The practice makes me feel more well grounded and trusting Life, myself and others to grow rather than somehow being artificially built.

    With Patience,
    doris :-)

    "As long as our orientation is toward perfection or success, we will never learn about unconditional friendship with ourselves, nor will we find compassion. "

    Pema Chödrön

  2. I found that "there can be no disharmony with others if we feel harmonious within ourselves", from Ayya Khema, very helpful.
    I think I'll revisit it frequently, thankyou.

  3. Thank you Doris. Beautiful!

    I love your ending, 'with patience', the best . . . I think I will use it also :)

  4. Phil, yes, I love Ayya Khema's insistence that we clean up our house first.

    I also wonder if there are not times when outer circumstances need to be attended to first and also? How about the situation when a person is being abused? Or an unhealthy workplace? Or a toxic friendship? The Buddha refers to such people as fools, and is clear that we would be fool ourselves to keep up with such friendship. It maybe that if one is unable to change the outer circumstances, then Ayya Khema's view is the only option. I am thinking of people in prison for instance.