Posted by: Upāsaka | 10/08/2018

No Choice

It can feel stifling at times. In the heat of the moment I can be overwhelmed by anger and resentment and find it difficult, if not impossible, to hold my tongue. And, yet, despite these very real difficulties, I know that this is the way. I know, at least, that the path of domination and revenge is nothing less than the path to perdition. So, what’s the alternative?

In the past, especially before I found the Dhamma, my go-to alternative was to bury my head in the sand. I yet believed that ignorance was bliss. Even after I began to have faith, I have made countless excuses for myself: it’s not possible to do X while still a householder; or, the Lord Buddha didn’t expressly forbid Y so I can do it and get away with it. But, somewhere I knew these were cop outs.

No matter how difficult it may seem, anything less than my total commitment to overcoming my defilements is a betrayal of my deepest desire and highest principles. Yes, it has felt like my wife is trying to sadistically punish me and to make me abandon my children so that she will somehow be vindicated. Yes, it is exceedingly hard not to fall prey to the snares of hurt and resentment but it can be done. It must be done.

I know that the highest good to come from all of this would be to go forth and that may very well happen in this lifetime but never as an escape nor with a heart full of coals. I am grateful to her for showing me the limits of romantic love and attraction and how it can so easily be shaped into a barbed hook. I am thankful for the difficulties that have turned me away from the illusion of erotic love and towards the Dhamma. I am grateful to be able to make use of this otherwise nightmarish situation to progress along the path rather than be cast headlong into the abyss by my kilesas.

May my wife find true peace, happiness and contentment. May she meet with every success and quickly find freedom from suffering.


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