Dharma Glimpse by Jules
Lately I have been repeatedly triggered by what I believed to be lies and deceit, and my reactions to them have been exponentially destructive to those around me – causing harm to those I love and cherish.
As a sufferer of complex-PTSD I am unable to regulate my emotions in a typical manner, which can manifest into heightened emotional reactivity and the inability to form stable responses.
Enraged with anger, I knew I was in survival mode. Words tumbled out of my mouth, like a tumultuous cascading waterfall, powerful but unrestrained. They were ugly, venomous and hurtful. I wanted to redirect their course, but was unable to stop them even though I was acutely aware of the damage they were causing.
In that moment I needed nothing more than a hug, to feel safe and secure. I needed to feel grounded and for someone to tell it would be ok. But it wasn’t forthcoming and instead I recognised the survival mode dictating my actions, a state of constant reactivity, driven by fear and self-preservation. It contradicts Buddhist precepts, as it fosters actions rooted in attachment, aversion, and ignorance, hindering the cultivation of compassion, mindfulness, and ethical conduct. Embracing the Dharma involves transcending survival instincts to attain a more awakened, harmonious existence.
I couldn’t rewind nor take back my words, the damage was done. However, I recognised the impact of my words and actions, and acknowledged the suffering I had caused. Apologising is consistent with the Buddhist teachings on ethical conduct and the importance of cultivating wholesome actions. It reflects an understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings and the potential for transformation and healing through mindful and compassionate communication.
In line with the Fourth Noble Truth (the path to the cessation of suffering through the Eightfold Path), I desperately wanted to transform the destructive flow towards understanding, healing and stillness. So I took full accountability and offered a sincere apology, expressing deep remorse.
The Buddha said, “If it were not possible to free the heart from entanglement and greed, hate, fear, and delusion, I would not teach you or ask you to do so.” The power of forgiveness releases us from the power of fear. With this in mind, I needed to let go of the pain I was carrying and needed those I’d hurt to see kindly with a wise heart by letting go of hatred and fear and rest in peace and forgiveness. It was the only way to end this suffering and bring harmony back to our lives.
Having recently read the chapter about the concept of Bombu nature in ‘Just As You Are’ Buddhism For Foolish Beings 2nd Edition), written by Kaspa Thompson and Satya Robyn, I realised that bombu nature recognises that human frailty and fragility is something that will always be with us. This Buddhist concept identifies that I am human, I make mistakes and may never get things completely right. It made me realise the impermanence of the situation and that I should not be too hard on myself. I needed to extend forgiveness to myself and hold the pain that I had caused in the heart of compassion.
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