October 31, 2011

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

“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:


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.

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