In a difficult situation
I keep searching
for the one who is to blame.
I grapple with anger, grief,
resentment, and every little
shame, malice, and enmity
until I’ve worked myself
into a prison of self-pity.
I look around.
There is no door,
no lock, no key.
There is only a mirror.
I take a deep breath,
open my eyes wider,
look hard at the reflection
and discover the one
who caused all this is ME.
Oh weary traveler,
when the road of Life
has you exhausted
and you think
you can’t take another step,
there is a refuge for you,
a place you can go
where there is always room for you,
a sanctuary where you will be
greeted with open arms
and the warmest hospitality.
The refuge is your own heart.
The sanctuary is the inexhaustible
well of peace found within the purest,
most sacred chamber of your heart.
Enter the refuge, weary one,
Find the sanctuary.
Come and sit a while.
Close your eyes.
There now, that’s better.
Even though I was up early,
two kittens and a sleepy husband
started my day off with mayhem.
I wanted to sit first,
woke him up as I tried
to evict the cats from the room,
as he awoke he asked why I wanted to sit now–
he thought I should wait…
and this opened up a can of worms.
After five years of maintaining my daily practice,
I’m still wanting his support and understanding,
and he is still not giving it in the way I had hoped.
And this is part of my practice
and part of learning how to be in a marriage, I guess.
This is what I tell myself anyway.
At times like this I dream
of living in a community of like-minded practitioners,
but is this what will help me grow?
I must need to develop more conviction
because my husband is giving me an opportunity
to stand my ground and maintain my practice
even in the face of opposition.
Welcome your teachers,
especially the ones whom you’d rather avoid.
That old story about being comfortable,
about staying clear of difficult people–
set it aside for a moment,
and look into the great mirror of being.
Do you need to have others agree with you
to feel confident about your own thinking?
Does everyone have to look the same as you
for you to feel comfortable in your own skin?
Turn and move closer to the disagreeable people.
They have much to teach you
if only you can be willing to listen.