D.H. Lawrence, Charlie Brown, Chögyam Trungpa (and me.)

Via on Oct 31, 2011

“I never saw a wild thing

sorry for itself.

A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough

without ever having felt sorry for itself.”

“Self-Pity” ~ D.H. Lawrence












(Photo: seyed mostafa zamani.)

Ever had a pity party? You know exactly what I’m talking about. I did this morning. Poor me. Lots of sighing. Everything sucks. Life is so hard. Boo-hoo. Woe is me. I’ll spare you the list of big and small things going wrong at the moment. They all boil down to first world problems that left me feeling like Charlie Brown:

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I stayed in my little Charlie Brown funk for a little while. (OK, I stayed there until I had some meditation time and a coffee chaser.) It isn’t a comfortable place to stay. If every day I have the chance to be a Charlie Brown or to be a wild thing, I’ll choose the wild thing every single time. I would rather freeze my tail off, chirping all the while, than sulk because I didn’t get what I wanted. When you truly look at it, self-pity and sadness when we don’t get what we want or when we feel we’ve been slighted is a colossal waste of time.

It’s like saying, “ I’ve been given this gorgeous life that is  barely longer than a butterfly’s, and I choose to waste it whining about what I wish was different.”

Instead of all that self-pity, you could cultivate a genuinely tender heart:

 The genuine heart of sadness comes from feeling that your nonexistent heart is full. You would like to spill your heart’s blood, give your heart to others. For the warrior this experience of sad and tender heart is what gives birth to fearlessness. Conventionally, being fearless means you are not afraid or that if someone hits you will hit him back. However, we are not talking about that street-fighter level of fearlessness. Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others.”

~ Chögyam Trungpa ( from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior)

 Let go of all those perceived wrongs.

Let go of whining and make things different.

Let go of that rock-solid, closed-up heart that is hiding behind the fear of insult or injury.

Bare your raw, beautiful heart.

Be a fierce, tender warrior.

Be a wild thing.

About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. She doesn't know how to behave with all the apples and ibexes. She doesn't suffer from her eight million freckles, she loves them! Like a rolling stone, Kate gathers no moss. Kate loves kale, being barefoot, Dr. Seuss, singing too loudly, gallivanting, palindromes, blackberries and has far too many books for her own good. When she's not writing, you can find her practicing yoga, running in the woods, playing with her kids, devouring a book, planting dandelions, changing the world and doing her dishes. Kate does not play the accordion. She is a massage therapist, writer and a compassionate friend to all. This year Kate aspires to finally give up on learning to knit and will instead spend that time putting a little bit more of her heart on the page. Connect with Kate on Facebook and Twitter


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15 Responses to “D.H. Lawrence, Charlie Brown, Chögyam Trungpa (and me.)”

  1. Love this Kate! Just posted it to the main elephant facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/elephantjournal/posts/18… Cheers!

  2. Eric Belsey says:

    It continues to astonish me that so few practitioners are aware of the fact that Trungpa drank himself to death. Here's some half-assed Wikipedia "research", but digging deeper would reveal the same truth: "However, when asked in a November 2008 interview, "What was he ill with? What did he die of?," his doctor Mitchell Levy replied, "He had chronic liver disease related to his alcohol intake over many years."[23] One of his nursing attendants reports that in his last months, he suffered from the classic symptoms of terminal alcoholism and cirrhosis, yet continued drinking heavily."

    As such, to me, as a practitioner, the fact that could not cope with reality to the point that he essentially committed suicide, means that regardless of the eloquence of his words, they mean nothing to a practitioner. What he really had was a genius for business, for selling umbrellas in a rainstorm, and for gathering high-powered people around him, and then making them all economically dependent on the fantasy that he was "enlightened." If your paycheck depends on a lie, you will defend that lie with great energy.

    • I can't speak to that, Eric. Don't know about it. But honestly, truth is true wherever you find it. If I learned something true from someone who was awful to me, I would still be grateful for the lesson. Hope that makes sense. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Silvia says:

    I liked it. thank you. thank you also for dh lawrence's quote. it violently beautiful. I will share it.

  4. Yes. Real fearlessness is being open rather than hard like a rock. Its easy to close yourself off from feeling. I find that most people who are hard and mean are the most fragile when the same is directed toward them. For some reason in our culture we equate strength with being hard and not heart-filled. When you show compassion you are viewed as being weak.

  5. Andréa Balt says:

    Lady Chatterley digs this. :)

    Thanks for another piece of truth. El bien está muy cerca del mal. Caminamos descalzos sobre poesía y ascuas.

  6. [...] blah. It’s easy to slip into a mindless day. It’s easier still to start the week off full of complaints about everything you think should be [...]

  7. [...] Welcome to my pity-party. [...]

  8. faye says:

    A to the M E N.

  9. [...] between being honest about the difficulty of the present moment, and cuddling up with sorrow and self-pity. Self-pity is closed-off, self-centered and is about replaying your hurts and picking at your [...]

  10. Heather says:

    The perfect sentiment for both a rainy Sunday morning as well as the rest of the week.

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