“The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes. ” Pema Chodron
Last night I received a phone call from a loved one, someone who I love deeply but have struggled with internally because I’ve been worried about his health. I want to help him, because I feel I’m losing him.
I want to show him my habit method, so he can give up smoking and drinking and eating unhealthy foods, can take up exercise and meditation, and all of a sudden be transformed into a healthy person again.
And of course, I can’t. I want to control something that scares me, but I can’t. I’m not in control of the universe (haven’t been offered the job yet), and I’m not in control of anyone else. I want to help, but can’t.
So I melted.
Not melted as in “had a meltdown”, which sounds wonderful if you like melted foods but actually isn’t. I melted as in I stopped trying to control, stopped trying to change him, and instead softened and accepted him for who he is.
And guess what? Who he is? It’s wonderful. Who he is — it’s super awesome mad wonderful. He’s funny and loving and wise and passionate and crazy and thoughtful and philosophical and did I mention crazy?
I melted, and accepted, and only then could I actually enjoy his presence instead of worrying about losing him or changing him.
And this, as I’ve learned, is the best way to be.
We can stop trying to change people, and just melt into their presence, just notice who they really are, just appreciate it. We can stop complaining about our life circumstances, about our losses, about how the world is, and just melt into it.
Just accept. Just notice. Just appreciate.
This is the way to be.
Zen Habits – Leo Babauta (of course!)