This quote is attributed to Charles Horton Cooley, originator of the “looking glass self” theory.
Yes, I am still reading “The Self Illusion”. Can you tell?
This journal page was prompted by something in a book I am reading at the moment. The book is Ayya Khema’s “Being Nobody Going Nowhere“. When talking about lovingkindness, the author suggests making a balance sheet at the end of the day. On one side of the sheet is: “How often have I felt lovingness towards another person today?” and on the other side: “How often have I felt anger, hurt, resentment, rejection, fear, anxiety, today when confronting other people?” This can be written or can be just in the mind.
Just undertaking this exercise for a few days has made me realise just how tipped my balance is and sadly, not on the side of lovingness. It has made me very aware of all the times in a day I respond, not with lovingness, but with irritation, indfifference, or resentment. It has made me realise that I have a lot to learn and a long way to go.
I am inspired by Ayya Khema’s writing though, and her assurance that lovingkindness is a skill that can be learned. She emphasises that acting in a loving way is never a weakness. For example, if you treat someone in a loving way and they respond by “taking advantage” of you (a real fear that a lot of people have, I think) then she says that it is their bad karma and asks “How you can you lose the love that you carry round in your own heart? If somebody takes advantage of you, it is another instance of learning whether your heart has already been trained”. She goes on to say that “The weakness that one may be afraid of showing is a fallacy because love gives strength not weakness. A person who has nothing but loving feelings feels safe and secure, totally at ease because nothing can sway them.” Ayya Khema inspires me to keep trying to perfect the skill of lovingness.
How do you keep your heart open and loving? Who inspires you? How does your balance sheet look at the end of the day? I would love to hear from you
Mary Oliver is one of my favourite poets. She writes eloquently and beautifully and with a reverence for nature and spirit. The verses included in this journal spread are taken from her poem “The Sun“. The scan isn’t great – the paint is actually much, much brighter – but I think it conveys the spirit in which it was created. “Be amazed!” Take time to pay close attention to the world and you can’t help but be amazed. But how often do we take the time to be amazed?
In the words of the Buddha: “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”
Which brings me neatly on to our sketches for this week’s Sketch Tuesday assignment, which is to sketch your very best blossom. Here’s my rather plain bloom:
Waif’s Morning Glory flowers:
Gman’s flower border:
After stating that drawing flowers wasn’t really “his cup of tea”, Gman then went on to do another flower drawing, and rather lovely it is too!:
Neat stuff I find and make... Just for fun.
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