Continued from Avoidance Part 1
Anger arises because for years we let our impatience arising from projections and fixations rule our minds. When impatience rules our mind, then more and more people will be a target by us as people we don’t like increases. The more impatience we have, the more anger we have, the more people we will not like. The more we will avoid and pretty much avoid all situations using those people we don’t like as excuses. If we are a rock or an island, maybe that is OK, but if we have goals and projects, then this attitude will be detrimental to say the least. No one can be a rock or island forever. No one would not like to fulfill their projects and goals. The strange thing is if you avoid people because of your unfulfilled expectations of them and your angry, you're doing something that is worse. Because you can do something and you are not because of anger. So are you punishing them? Saying you avoid them because of anger or other emotions is not any better for the reasons you give for their ‘lack of performance’ that ‘created’ your anger. Or is it you cannot do what they are doing and yet you feel they are not doing enough. You are demanding due to other fixations? Both ways it’s a cop out. When you leave it to them, it is worse than your anger of their performance because you are not performing at all. Group together and find a way is the best way. Saying you will do something else instead is fine, but if you are avoiding because of anger, then something is wrong. Eventually the anger will catch up. Again, don’t abandon, group together and work it out.
For you to avoid people you don’t like, harbour anger and push away responsibilities yet pray and hope for big projects/goals to be fulfilled is utterly without basis and logic. Think about it. When you leave work to others and do not get involved, then when you want help or benefits, don’t be upset when you don’t get it. Don’t say so and so were not compassionate and did not help you when it was you that created this by not being with them. Or helping them. It was your attachments to your own pursuits that make people not believe you or trust you. You left them to fend for themselves. It’s painful when you realize your faults and want to connect then others don’t want to connect due to your past record. Don’t blame others when they don’t trust you, or get involved with you and ask why you are penalized for your past. Look, if you were to say that, then why is all of samsara penalized for the past. The whole of existence (samsara) is from a cause. The whole reason something exists now be it positive or negative is there was a similar cause. When you get the results of your actions you are not being penalized by anyone but your past actions. It stands on its own. So when you suddenly want to do something and things have gone too far to repair or repair is a lengthy process, don’t be anger or impatient. You were the one that created this. An example is if you avoided something for three years, then you return and want instant acceptance and trust, then that is impossible. It was three years of responsibilities you avoided and let others do. And perhaps the others have adapted well without you. It is three years of avoidance of the pains, challenges, the ups and downs everyone went through without you because you weren’t around. Three years is just an example you can apply to any circumstance. You can’t just come back and resume where you left off unless you are living on a planet of androids. So for the hypothetical three years you have been gone, everyone had to ‘hold the building up’ without you as you pursued your personal attachments or didn’t want to deal with yourself. Whereas everyone else stuck it out and stayed regardless of their personal demons also. So you will not have the trust of anyone even if they forgive you. Forgiving does not mean people allow you just resume. Forgiving means people accept you and what happened without wanting to get you back or hurt you, but they don’t want a repeat. So if you are always not around, then you will have to find other methods to compensate maybe with gifts, nice words, or other temporary methods. If you intend to catch up, then it is a lengthy process as not only do you have to learn what you left behind, but also take years to build trust up again. Trust is the one emotion that creates harmony and peace around us. Even with gifts and extra catch up efforts, still people had to endure the suffering without you and they would lose respect for you in some measure perhaps. You have to make a choice. You have to do double perhaps to catch up.
You can earn respect back, but it will take longer than the first round. The key to getting respect the second time around? Results coupled with consistency. To earn respect means patience bereft of projections and consistency in your journey of freeing your mind. The more you free your mind, the more self esteem you will gain. Self esteem and accepting who you are with the good and the bad is the key to growth. Acceptance doesn’t mean stagnation but constantly positively challenging yourself to free yourself of your negative past, your projections, your anger and your fears. Time is very short. Go all the way. What else is there to lose that you have not lost? Exactly, nothing!
Another point: Keeping silent when you should speak up.
Keeping silent in meetings or when there is a need to speak up is perhaps a sign you don’t have any knowledge, you are not concerned, or you wish to perhaps not take responsibility. Could be something else also. You have to put yourself in different scenarios and see would you speak up and why. That helps to self examine.
Having not enough knowledge is fine. Just learn it up. Don’t let others learn it for you and you just relax because you will fall behind eventually becoming more silent. After a while when you don’t speak up because you don’t have the knowledge will be a huge loss of self esteem. Then you go away, or cover the lack of self esteem with anger or justifications. Perhaps being withdrawn inside, keeping even more quiet yet feeling a sense of falling behind is a message something is wrong. Listen to the message and don’t avoid it. You are your best messenger. Anyone who is not useful or productive will feel a sense of low self esteem. This leads to closing up more or hostility depending on individual fixations. How we feel should not be based on others, but in the beginning it is. Who can avoid that? Some of us get caught in the beginnging and cannot move on is where the problems arise. Everything is an experience that does not last, so since the events pass, let our fixations on it pass also without bringing it into the future.
If you are not concerned, but you receive the benefits of being with everyone in the group, then that will not earn respect or self respect either. Eventually people will feel it and sound it out that you are not doing your share and they have to carry the burdens yet you enjoy the benefits. This will only increase in time. Everyone learns to do more as it is natural progression. Not being concerned can arise from many factors. Whatever the factors are deal with it. If you are in the group for self or bigger reasons, you are still in the group. If they make it, you make it with them and enjoy the benefits together. Focus on the benefits for yourself and others to motivate you. If the motivation is not big enough, explore why.
If it is that you do not wish to take responsibilities, then it can be a combination of things. Self esteem, lack of knowledge, laziness, fear, and many other both positive and negative reasons. Taking responsibilities is part of growing up. It is part of success. To have success and enjoy any types of success one has to take responsibility. Fulfilling responsibilities also leads to self esteem the key to everything. Without these nothing can be accomplished. If you wish others to do everything then you shouldn’t expect yourself to last long in the group. After all, no one likes to be taken advantage of. Whatever your fears, taking responsibility is the very method to overcome your fears and trepidations. By doing more and doing it well you learn, grow, overcome fears, engender respect, gain self esteem and many other positive outcomes.
Being wrong is ok. No one was born omniscient and omnipotent. We can take being wrong in many ways. By being wrong we can learn and become right in gradually. Or by being wrong we lose face and hang onto the face loss and stay quiet stunting our growth. Afraid of losing face is the number one silent slayer of our chances to learn more and progress. We protect the face at the cost of learning nothing. In the end there will be no face to save. No one respects us anyway.
Staying quiet so no one knows we don’t have the knowledge only helps us for the moment but not long term. The situation to be ‘found out’ will increase with time as we fall behind even more. Creating more anxieties. The process of being wrong is not in being wrong, it’s what you do with it afterwards. Knowing nothing is static and fixed, we can change it. We can change it is the key. So choose change and be consistent. Being wrong is ok when you challenge yourself to be right the positive way by learning, patience and consistency. Everyone who was ever right was wrong in the beginning. Right or wrong is not the point, but are you getting to where you deserve to be is the question. Remember no matter how much you know, there are always more things you don’t know. Keep that humbling attitude in mind then just learn and make mistakes progressing to a happy open mind. Eventually having more knowledge to speak up and help and contribute.
How we deal with our emotions is a sign to ourselves whether we will create further unhappiness or not. Hiding, avoiding, justifying and explaining without results helps only for a short period. I repeat, only for a short period. In time people will either respect you or avoid you. But that is up to you. In time you will either respect yourself or find reasons to avoid yourself also.
About the Author: Tsem Tulku Rinpoche has been acknowledged by the 14th Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the 72nd Abbot of Gaden Shartse, Gedun Nyedrak. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s spiritual lineage actually begins as one of the disciples of Je Tsongkhapa, the founding saint of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Tsem Tulku Rinpoche has studied under many esteemed Gurus, including H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and H.E. Lati Rinpoche. With a Mongolian-Tibetan heritage, a childhood in Taiwan and America, intensive study and meditation in Gaden Monastery, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche is one of the rare, precious teachers with the unique teaching ability to bridge East and West.