Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend

“To be mindful means to have metta towards the fear in your mind, or the anger, or the jealousy. Metta means not creating problems around existing conditions, allowing them to fade away, to cease. For example, when fear comes up in your mind, you can have metta for the fear — meaning that you don’t build up aversion to it, you can just accept its presence and allow it to cease. You can also minimize the fear by recognizing that it is the same kind of fear that everyone has, that animals have. It’s not my fear, it’s not a person’s, it’s an impersonal fear.”  ~from Mindfulness: The Path to Deathlessness: The Meditation Teaching of Venerable Ajahn Sumedho. (via Dhamma Footsteps)

The last bit certainly mimics my own experiences with fear, depression,  and anxiety.  I picture them as sort of a fog that descends, looking for a little niche in which to insert itself.

What it actually finds to attach itself to is almost irrelevant.

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Misguided

In this excerpt from Huey Long by T. Harry Williams, ©1969, Huey Long explains why he did not fight in the First World War:

“I did not go into that war,” he proclaimed in the Senate. “I was within the draft age. I could have gone, except for my dependents. I did not go because I did not want to go, aside from that fact… I did not go because I was not mad at anybody over there. I did not go because it was not the first time in history that the sons of America had volunteered themselves as cannon fodder under the misguided apprehension that it was going to be a fight for humanity,” when in reality they had been used to centralize “the wealth of the United States and the world in the hands of a few.”

Since then, similar words have been spoken about nearly every American conflict.

Flow

“Get out of the construction business! Stop building bridges across the raging waters of samsaric existence, attempting to reach the ‘far shore,’ nirvana. Better to simply relax, at ease and carefree, in total naturalness, and just go with the primordial flow, however it occurs and happens. And remember this: whether or not you go with the flow, it always goes with you.”  ~Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche (source)

It Mattered

“So often we try to make other people feel better by minimizing their pain, by telling them that it will get better (which it will) or that there are worse things in the world (which there are). But that’s not what I actually needed.

“What I actually needed was for someone to tell me that it hurt because it mattered. I have found this very useful to think about over the years, and I find that it is a lot easier and more bearable to be sad when you aren’t constantly berating yourself for being sad.” ~John Green