Buddhism assures me there will be suffering in life. That pain will come (and go). That change will as often be for the worse as for the better. But as a generally optimistic person, I usually ignore this. (I know — what kind of Buddhist am I?? 🙂 )
And so, when I am confronted by truly mean people — people who will lash out in their own anger and say mean, hateful things — I’m flummoxed. And then I too become angry.
Sigh. BIG sigh. Because this really helps no one, and only makes my nights into dark sleepless hours of stomach-churning and head-spinning.
Because I am, at heart, an emotional engineer. I want to FIX things. I want to stop the hurt — my own and that of the ones I love. And how very wise the Buddha was when he shook his head (surely he shook his head?) and said so many centuries ago: Suffering I teach, and the way out of suffering. And the way out? Just to get through it. Without letting the feeling dominate you.
Doesn’t that sound simple? But it’s the hardest thing I know. As I try not to let the anger take me over, to just ‘feel it and endure,’ I am almost sick. How can you say you love people if you throw the jagged blades of knife-words at them? What kind of love is that? How can I speak kindly to a person who enrages me? Even if, once, I loved them?
But then… what kind of love alters when it alteration finds….? Shakespeare knew what he was talking about. When I am this angry with someone, it certainly doesn’t feel like love. And it’s hard as hell to just ‘endure’ it…