A new form of suffering-repellent

I’ve found a practice that is suffering-repellent.

Be like water. That’s how Wayne Dyer puts it. DO be fluid and easy and fill in the cracks; DON’T be firm and rigid and unyielding.


Don’t concretize and solidify your thoughts. That’s how Pema Chodron puts it.  Soften around your thoughts, don’t harden around them.

Be soft.

The ego hates soft and yielding and fluid. Ego love-love-loves solid and concrete.

The ego wants to concretize things because we think it makes us feel better. We think we get a resolution that way.

Like the other night, I wanted more than anything to have a quiet, relaxing evening. I wanted to read my book and light candles and wear a Snuggie (it was too hot for a Snuggie, but that’s the kind of mood I was in). Quiet, peaceful, candle-lit, good book.

But I don’t live alone so that’s sometimes a problem. Hubby’s not a fan of quiet book nights. He’s a fan of bright lights and TV surround sound.

I could have created my quiet space in another area of the house but I didn’t. Instead, I got all rigid about it. The thoughts like “This is my house, too”, “It’s not fair”, “We’re so different” swam across my mind, as they always will. But instead of letting them swim along all fluid-like, I stopped them and turned them into concrete.

I solidified them. I puffed them up to be true and important.

And when we went to bed and I started arguing my case about our home being too loud and not peaceful and how there’s never any compromise, my ego kept going and going. As if the more concrete I could make it and the more I could solidify my point, the better I’d feel. The more resolution there would be.

Except just the opposite is true. Solidifying my point was digging my own grave.

And the really ironic and totally predictable part is that the thoughts my ego was solidifying into place—that our house was loud and not peaceful and there’s no middle ground—were being so perfectly demonstrated by me in that moment. I was loud, not peaceful and not compromising.

Because we’re always guilt of the things we accuse others of, on some level. Sometimes it’s blatantly obvious like this example, other times it’s more subtle.

The solution…suffering-repellent: Be soft and fluid, like water. Soften, don’t harden around those thoughts swimming around in your mind.

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