My teacher Kelly Morris teaches from the Tibetan Buddhist lineage, teachings which go back thousands of years. Teachings which link directly to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Buddha himself. Teachings which instruct us to love all beings. Teachings which inform us that our world is actually coming from us, as a result of how we have treated others in the past.
I knew against my best judgment that I should not go shopping. But I also knew I needed to buy a gift... blah blah blah... and so...
I drove. I was concerned about going. My instinct said, “Don’t do it! It’s going to be madness!!!” And yet, I went anyway.
As I sat patiently waiting for someone to pull out of a spot, I noted that it was a beautiful day, bright and clear, and felt badly that I wasn’t out with my dog. Suddenly, something began to happen which seemed unimaginable to me. A woman in her car began to back out right where I was waiting. My car was blocking hers. I honked my horn and rolled down my window and I asked her to wait so that I could back up and get out of the way. She kept backing up.
It was a sunny day, and for some reason this woman was just sitting in her car for a long time... but it was obvious to no one. And then, suddenly, she decided, “That’s it, I’m backing up!!!”
I thought about Kelly. How to love this woman who was determined to keep backing up in her SUV. She saw me. She saw my plea. And she actually shook her head at me in her massive SUV and kept backing up anyway.
I was furious!
The same thing had happened to me 5.5 years ago (which was the reason I began practicing yoga) when a man was in a hurry and decided to run a red light and sideswiped me on my bicycle in his monmouth SUV and me and my bicycle and injuries went flying!!!
I did all that I could today. But this woman did not care about my well-being.
And what happened was I was in pain. A lot of pain.
My neck seized up as I yelled to be heard and as I fought to not get hit again.
After she pulled out of the spot, I pulled in. And I took several moments to catch my breath. My neck was hurting bad. I have significant injury in my neck and the woman’s massive SUV came within a foot of pounding into my car. As far as I’m concerned, it was a boundary violation.
A few months ago, I was with my teacher, and I spoke about someone who had entered my space without asking and my neck began hurting as I told her the story. It was a BOUNDARY VIOLATION.
I’ve had to work very hard at this practice.
Most of us do.
I have a practice of FIRST DO NO HARM.
And if harm is done. Done to me. Done to others. Then I have had to work very very hard with those folks, and the truth is, I have a very difficult time SUSTAINING “LOVE” with those folks. “NEUTRAL” is much easier in my Metta practice with them.
I am a realist.
With these lineages, I don’t think you are supposed to use the word “but.”
I use it often.
And I forgive myself when I do.
I work at it.
I start over. Again and again. I start over.
I was deeply saddened by what happened today. I am tired of placing myself in harm’s way. At first I thought it was because I was paying back a karmic debt. And then I realized, “NO.” NO WAY. Because when I sat in my car after the episode and felt the pain in my body which I absorbed, which was SOOOO BIG, I wasn’t 100% sure what had just “hit me.” I was really sad, and I wasn’t completely sure why. I know there was a big part of me that was saying “NO.” But I couldn’t put it all together yet. But paying back a karmic debt? No. That wasn’t it. Not after the sad faces I saw today while shopping. No way. No way. Not after the pain I absorbed in my body. I realized that I took a hit today. I took a hit from a crazy woman and probably prevented someone from getting killed or seriously injured because I said “NO. This is not Ok. You cannot do this.” I said it to her. And I said it to myself.
FIRST DO NO HARM.
THANK YOUR TEACHERS. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE.
LET GO. KEEP LETTING GO. (Or take the elevator! - couldn't help it- Michelle Berman Marchildon)