Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The Muscles of Mind
In our daily lives, what we focus on internally and direct externally is what directs our lives. If we choose to focus on the pain and suffering from within, we usually end up directing that pain and suffering onto those around us. If we focus on having patience, understanding and compassion for ourselves, we end up directing these to all we encounter. We’re strengthening these muscles of mind.
And, every negative or every positive idea or feeling, is infinitely replenishable. There’s an infinite reservoir of both positivity and negativity within each of us. What we focus on in our own lives and direct outwardly in all of our interactions is what will be replenished from within.
We can hold onto our basic goodness, or our effort. And then, what do we have? We have done nothing and shared nothing. Do we think that if we share how wonderful we are with others that we lose it somehow? Do we think if we do something with our lives today that we won’t be able to do so tomorrow?
Examine physical effort closely. We can always do more after doing anything. This is like going to the gym. If we exert our bodies effectively in the gym, instead of having less to give, we actually have more to give. This is why focusing on our body in such a constructive matter has such a positive impact on our entire lives, not just our body. We’re focusing on benefiting ourselves, and that naturally has a benefit overflow to those around us.
The same can be said with regard to compassion, patience and understanding. These are muscles of mind. When we use them, we don’t use them up, we actually strengthen them instead. Compassion, patience and understanding are not commodities. They are, instead, muscles of mind.
It is not always easy to use these in difficult situations, but if we start with generating these for ourselves, we begin to strengthen them. Then, we expand the use to those we love and care about. This can be quite an expansion, and one that at first seems easy but can be, at times, far more difficult than generating compassion, patience and understanding for those we have profound disagreement with as these people are often not in our daily lives.
The key here is to use these muscles of mind as much as we can. The more we use patience, understanding and compassion, the more strength we will find to use these in increasingly difficult situations and people. If we attempt to hold onto these things for just ourselves or for those we find favor with, we’re robbing not others but ourselves instead.