A few days ago, something happened to a family member several hours away, and I found myself suspending previously made plans and making new ones (in consultation with other people). I also became acutely aware of a lot of intense emotion and action around me. I closed my eyes and kept repeating, “This is for me. This is for everyone involved. Only good can come from this”, and while that thought was very soothing at the moment, as I drove home, I felt drained and uneasy.
I called a friend to try to get perspective, but our call was interrupted by another call and a person wanting an immediate answer, so I needed to hang up.
A minute later, a text came to me from this same friend saying, “You always say that everyone is a mirror…..”. As I read this, I saw the truth: I was the one running around (inside) trying to figure out what to do next. I was feeling guilty about not being more available. I was afraid that I was being judged by my family members, so I was trying to prove to them that I was good enough.
My mind was working over-time trying to vindicate me of a crime that I had charged myself with, and was now feeling the need to defend.
As soon as I saw this, all of the tension in my mind and body melted away. I took my focus off everyone else and was finally able to see that they were indeed just mirrors. What a relief to see this. My thoughts are the only ones that I ever have to pay attention to. My actions are the only ones that I need to know are the right ones. My mind is my friend or my enemy. My mind is the thing that puts me in heaven or hell. What a relief to know this. All is well. Everything that happens this day is right…if my thoughts about it are right.
“We often ask, ‘What’s wrong?’ Doing so, we invite painful seeds of sorrow to come up and manifest. We feel suffering, anger and depression, and produce more such seeds. We would be much happier if we tried to stay in touch with the healthy, joyful seeds inside of us and around us. We should learn to ask, ‘What’s not wrong?’ and be in touch with that.” pp 77 from, Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh