Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/22/2013

Unshaken by Praise and Blame

The household life, at least mine, is filled with blame. It always seems as if someone is doing something wrong and, if it isn’t obvious, I’m feeling that that certain someone is me of late. Originally, as I considered what I would post about this morning, I thought I would write about the paradox of trying to make someone else happy by changing one’s own behavior. Yet, as I pondered it I realized I was falling into the same old trap of resentment and attempting to do the impossible by making myself responsible for someone else’s happiness.

It was somewhere around this point that I realized that the issue was simply a lack of equanimity in the face of blame. I see now that just as I am not responsible for another’s happiness they are just as much off the hook when it comes to my own. In short, by allowing myself to be moved by the winds of blame and praise I am giving up any and all power to shape my own destiny. It’s interesting to think of what might happen were the situation to be reversed: if I were being praised constantly I don’t believe I would even be writing this. In all honesty, I would be lost in the praise of another and become a slave (as I have so many times before) to their approval. So, in a weird way, I am happy that this seeming over-abundance of blame has caused me to remember this incredibly important teaching.

May I ever be mindful of the dangers of praise and be reminded to cultivate a peaceful heart through difficulty.

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