1_mad_squirrel: (Shakyamuni Buddha)
[personal profile] 1_mad_squirrel posting in [community profile] buddhists
I posted this on Facebook earlier today:

I got to sleep really late last night, and woke up before five am, and was awake for about an hour. Mom woke me up, thank goodness, about 10:15, from a horrible nightmare in which I did selfish, awful, thoughtless things that caused a disaster and a great deal of suffering for many people, and then tried to run away from it.

Even awake, I couldn't get out of the mindset of the dream, and just sat there thinking of so many thoughtless selfish things if done, and I just sat in the bathroom and cried. I'm trying, reached out on the phone a couple of places for help, and I'm trying to distract myself, joking around with a firend here on FB. It sucks not to feel safe inside your own head.

I felt emotionally really vulnerable, and volatile, varying from weeping to overwhelming fits of anger. And I felt vulnerable and scared that I could be that overwhelmed.

I went through a cognitive therapy course years ago, and I know some Buddhist philosophy and techniques that can often help, but I think that because I was awakened in the middle of that awful dream, in that horrible mental and emotional state, I put me in a very vulnerable state in which I didn't even know how to reach for those tools.

A friend of mine responded to my Facebook post with this:

‎"hugs" and "aloha!" are all i got right now, dear laurie... *everyone* who has ever lived, and *everyone* who is living now, has done thoughtless and selfish things, but i *promise* you this: it is the sign of a Good person that she regret
s them, and learns from her mistakes. only a truly thoughtless and selfish person does things such things without regret and tears.

when i am beating myself up -- and there is no one better at it, since he knows *everything* -- i try to remember that at least i regret, and will learn, and to try to be gentle with myself because i am only human...

light and love!

Another friend responded:

I watched this great clip on TED: Ideas Worth Sharing.

Don't Regret Regret. It's helped me live more regret free and let go of the things I've done.

Many hugs and much love Hun.

The video makes some very good points, but it was a bit off from my situation, I responded to her with this.

Charlotte, I don't think the problem was *that* I had regrets, any decent person would. It's partially that I was so vulnerable emotionally being awakened out of that dream. It's partially because I live with severe chronic atypical depre
ssion and some fun (not) axis II stuff. It's partially to do with stuff that happened to me when I was growing up that makes me terrified of making mistakes, and castigating of myself when I do. All of that rolled together makes me sometimes fall into the trap of thinking, consciously or un, that if I've made mistakes, if I've been thoughtless or cruel on occasion to others, that don't deserve to be treated with kindness, and that I *do* deserve the bad stuff that has happened to me. I tend to look at things from a Buddhist perspective, with the idea of karma, and in my lowest moments, that becomes not a source of hope but a source of self-flagellation and despair

I even get on the circular path of freaking out that that I freaked out, that I failed to address these thoughts and emotions with dharma, and thus by indulging in more disturbing emotions, have created even more negative karma for myself. Oy

Date: 2012-08-03 07:20 am (UTC)
dragonfly: stained glass dragonfly in iridescent colors (Default)
From: [personal profile] dragonfly
I have found something freeing in Buddhist teachings about suffering. Particularly Thich Nhat Han in "The Art of Power" but also others who talk about adopting a mindset of trying to lessen suffering around us as much as possible. It was liberating to me to realize that that mandate applied to my own suffering, as well. If you can extend compassion to include yourself, remember no one deserves suffering, really. No one. Certainly not you. And certainly not because you haven't been a good enough Buddhist. *g*

~`sending loving vibes~


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