A SIGNIFICANT amount of stress comes into my life as a result of me being overly concerned about what other people think of me. When I sit with my stress this is one thing that is glaringly obvious. How do I learn to manage this? What are the steps?
As I look back on the decisions that I’ve made in my life I keep thinking about all of the major ones that I made because of concern that I had about how i would be perceived by other people.
This has been a strong constant in my life. But where is that limit. Where is the limit of where my decision should be independent of the impact to others? What if others are “hurt” by my choice? Is it appropriate for someone to be hurt by my decision to get plain or peanut m&ms? No.
The spectrum of negative impact to others is complex. What about my decision to use petroleum products when I know wars are found over access and people die as a result both from the acquisition of oil and the use of oil through global warming’s effects? I don’t know the answer to that.
What about all the other things that I do. Everything that I do impacts someone in the world in some way. My energy is transmitted in positive and negative ways constantly. I listened to the Vinny Ferraro talk about Karma today and he said that the web of karma is “inponderable” which leads me to believe that there is some mechanism whereby to karma most closely associated with my actions is worked on first and then slowly and slowly refined.
But what if someone’s hurting is a direct result of their ignorance or lack of understanding of the full picture? For example, mom stressing over her children when she thinks they’re evil sinners? She is suffering because of someone’s actions. It’s her choice to suffer. What about my choice to smoke weed and come in the house? My partner suffers because of this, the smell doesn’t actually cause any harm and all of the suffering is because of her perception.
“I’ve had regrets in my life that I’ve tasted so many times you know because that was the karmic fruit of that action. So we can’t really get away with anything right because we know what our intention was in that moment. By sitting and opening to really the totality of our lives we can experience what they call a karmic unburdening. As the impressions rise up and by being with them mindfully we can admit them into existence and based on our ability to be with them honestly we can actually change. Cause in any moment we can choose the wholesome, right, doesn’t matter where we find ourselves in the process, doesn’t matter if it was something unwholesome…freedom is in this moment..this is the only one that exists.” Vinny Ferraro “Karma” September 22, 2017. Against the Stream https://www.buzzsprout.com/15352/568359