Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tickle me joyful

They say we are born knowing what we need to know, that the path to enlightenment is an unlearning of some of what we pick up through the act of living.

My three-and-a-half-year-old nephew is throwing a tantrum. He screams Nooooo, I don't want to, Don't look at me, Don't tickle me, Don't touch meeeeeee! My sister lovingly looks at him and in one swoop, picks him up, squeezes and kisses him, turns him around so that he sees the world upside down. My nephew smiles. The world is happy. Everything is love. He is back to his normal self.

To unlearn takes a tremendous amount of effort. To unlearn being right to be at peace is difficult. Through our living, we learn to exercise our ego, to identify with a short-sighted concept of ourselves and to defend the slightest grievance. Yet this keeps us far from happiness. Today is a good day to overcome our initial defensive responses when another injures us, acts insanely or throws a fit. If another is angry, offer them love (if they agree to be flipped upside down, squeezed and kissed, then do), regardless of who is right. When we do, we move into love and to the sanity that it provides. Instead of snapping, let us unlearn anger and respond with kindness and goodwill. Let us unlearn the attitudes that keep us at odds. Let us find the joy we were born with.

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