Is It possible to attend to myself while resisting my experiences?

Commentary by José Parés Pérez, Concepción, Chile.

When our interest has been aroused in being concerned about ourselves and about paying attention to ourselves, what we do is try and be aware of what worries us and what tends to occupy our attention often by taking us away from the peace of mind of a quiet life.  Our conflicts stem from our thoughts which are derived from the reality we experience at every moment.  Whatever we feel arouses memories of having previously gone through something similar.  That produces positive and negative emotions, thoughts, actions and feelings etc. in us.  A chain of hesitation and distraction born of what we have experienced.  The overall sensation that remains with us after moments like these is generally bewilderment for not having got involved.  When what we have experienced seems to us to be negative it causes us malaise and its repetition over time is a source of conflict in our lives.

One of the reasons that feeds our conflicts is the search for a culprit to blame for what is making us feel bad.  Our self-centred attitude, which is typical of us, leads us to look for something to blame that is outside us, especially since we feel that what we have experienced comes from outside.  The interest we develop in learning about the source of our conflicts takes us by the hand so that we can discover peacefully and in consistency and harmony, what is making us feel bad.  We are living at a tremendously important moment in our lives at a crossroads and I value the opportunity to pause in order to set out along the correct path.  What is the cause and what sustains my conflicts?     

It is time to look in all directions to find and understand the origin of these conflicts.  In all directions, including those in which we believe that we do not see anything or not much, towards our inner self.   The Universe we share offers a huge range of opportunities to experience things we dislike.

Also pleasure of course, but that is another matter.  Everything, absolutely everything, even something that may feel like the most sublime thing in the Universe may please or displease me.  Very few experiences leave me feeling indifferent if I pay attention to what I feel.  I have an infinite capacity to observe or interpret reality and if I do not pay attention I will come face to face with intentions to do things that have been invented by other people, experiences that I cannot be aware of in depth, except in myself.  So, if I search for the cause of the dislike I feel, I must search for it among my personal experiences. 

What I am, which includes my cultural baggage and personal memories, is what classifies what I feel as being pleasant or unpleasant.  What I feel really depends on what I am and I must accept myself as I am if I want to eliminate my conflicts.   I cannot remove what I dislike from my sphere of action.

Consistency in life is paid for through freedom and honesty, but it buys harmony and peace of mind.