You may have heard the old saying “It is better to teach a village how to fish, rather than to give them fish”. Well of course this is true, if the village happens to be near water ! We so easily make assumptions, and I would not be surprised if you thought, “well, if there is no fish, then giving fish would be the best option to rescue them”. If you did, you could be making an assumption. Who said the village needed rescuing? Even if they did need help, the ones who would probably benefit most from giving fish to the theoretical village would be…. you and the value-adders.
- You, to the extent you feel good thinking you have done the village a favour.
- And the value-adders because they may cook the fish and make a living.
Now I am going to take this blog in a different direction, because this introduction was getting you to think about motives within the concept of self. (Though if you want to explore the concept of food aid more, have a read of “Dark Star Safari” by Paul Theroux)
You do not control anything outside your own skin, and within, only parts.
This is a good thing! If you did have control, you would be responsible, aka Jim Carrey in the film “Bruce Almighty” where he asked for god-like powers and found when he got them his life was suddenly all about everyone else. (e.g. As soon as he announced he had such power, his email inbox immediately filled with zillions of prayer requests!)
Secondly, you don’t have control, and that includes emotions. So when someone blames you for their emotions, it is not valid. Ever heard things like “You made me feel stupid/angry/etc?” Heck, I can’t always control my own emotions, so how can I be responsible for someone else’s?
“Think of any set of circumstances in a relationship. Let’s say you (A) have just done something which your significant other (B) disagrees with, let’s choose a clear example, like you (A) have spent $100,000 without consultation. (B) may have an emotional reaction to the facts.
It is common to presume that any emotional reaction was the fault of the actor (A). For example, your wife (B) may say you caused her to feel insecure, or angry. But using the same facts, the other party (B) has a range of possible reactions to the exact same event.
For example, (B) may be delighted that (A) has finally taken a significant step towards independence that was sorely needed in their relationship, and could feel elated, or celebratory. Same facts, totally different emotions. The history of the experiencer of the emotions will determine the triggers, if any. Some practitioners of non-attachment may have reached a point where they have little or no emotional response.”
So what happens within our self, we own. What happens outside us we do not control, and neither does it make sense to blame or shame others in order to attempt to control them. (Not that we act rationally much of the time J)
Let’s not take on the responsibility for other lives till we have our own in order. Or in the modified form of the master’s words “take control of others, as you would have them take control of you”.
Another quote “Judge not, and you will not be judged”. Nobody made you feel how you feel right now. You just ARE feeling that way. The best thing you can do is sit with the feeling. Yep, acknowledge it, and OWN it. It is within your skin.
If you feel fantastic, own it. If you feel like shit, own it. Funny, but the more I do this, the more I concentrate on what is happening within, and listening to my spirit, body and emotions, the more complete I am to be myself.
So my final beef for this blog is about being selfish. Selfish, in the sense of owning what is within your skin, including your emotions and the presence of your higher self, is good.
(Just to be clear, I am not condoning mean-spiritedness or an unwillingness to share, that definition of selfish exists, but is not what I am talking about here)
You cannot love till first you understand love. You cannot reach out to other selves till you first reach out and comfort the little child within you.
Have a look within, and see if you have looked after yourself.
Be grateful for the immensely valuable diamond of light that is within you, value yourself, and understand that it is ok to choose to be selfish.
Imagine sun massaging with Vitamin D
to recall all the bad of your past history
and forgiving yourself?
Releasing the guilt.
Imagine the yellow-white light of the sun getting through
into the inner-most spirit of you,
and reflecting back love?
Reflecting from something that you have inside,
that is the source of your good, that holds pride,
that is beautiful, valuable, a precious gold soul,
and you the sole being who can make this soul whole
by working at cleaning, removing the soil
of hurt and self-doubt,
by polishing daily till the love shines right out…
Let the wild rumpus start!
Let it start in your heart!