Categories: dharma glimpse

    by Alexandra

    Having been practicing Buddhism since December 2023 and having just started my second book group. I am becoming more aware of gratitude, compassion and the importance of listening in my everyday life. 

    As a mental health professional, I feel that these values are something that I hold in mind and display when I’m with patients and my supervisees as it’s a huge part of my role. But sadly, by no means am I as skilled at these things when I leave my “caring role”. At work I seem to just be programmed that way but at home I can be quite the opposite! I can lack patience and be judgemental and irritated by people, despite my greatest efforts or even no effort at times if I’m completely honest.

    Since moving to Worcester, I’ve been pretty irritated by my loud, shouty neighbours, not for anything in particular, they just seem to grate on me and im sure although I try to be polite, I might seem stand offish at times.

    This week a tow truck came to my house to rescue ‘Gloria’, my camper-van. The guys from the truck parked in front of next doors driveway, as was only going to be 5 minutes. Before I knew it the men said “don’t you get on with your neighbours?” I asked why, they went on to say that they’d had a go at them and asked them to move the truck. This was fuel to my already irritated fire of my opinion of them. 

    I chatted with Nick, my partner,  about it and attempting to be kind, trying to see why they might do that, Buddhism is trying to enable me to be more tolerant. Anyway, I was struggling and decided that actually my neighbours were exactly what I’d assumed they were.

    A few days later, I was doing some gardening and the lady from next-door came to the dividing wall and asked to speak to me. We chatted for 30 minutes or more. She informed me that it must have looked like she was being difficult when the tow truck came, but actually she said she was quite up set. when she had looked out of the window she “heard” the tow truck men calling her a “nosy *****”  so she said to them that she was awaiting some builders coming and asked if they would move. I did wonder how she could have heard the comment as the truck was noisy but she then disclosed that she can lip read following loss of hearing last year. I suddenly felt so ashamed for judging her and her family. I often wonder why her husband is always shouting, so now I know! From the conversation that followed I learnt that two of her children have autism and severe mental health issues and she is deaf in one ear.

    The noisy irritating family will no longer irritate me (as much). So what I’ve learnt is, from being open to listening to someone I haven’t ever valued, is that, I’ve gained a little piece of wisdom… everything now has a new meaning! The relationship between us has evolved and changed

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