I don’t quite know how to preface this post without going into an elaborate personal story that will take all night for me to explain, so let’s suffice to say that a friend and I have had some misunderstandings. But, don’t worry, we’re working our way through it all, and, as part of the process, I wrote up some “reminders” to myself.
Last week, I published a post about this concept of “returning to yourself” in times of distress, which is something I got from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. My list of reminders sort of stems from this concept, and basically helps define what parts of my “self” I want/need to return to.
I actually wrote this list back on April 28th, and initially framed it as a list of resolutions, but now I prefer to call them reminders. Calling them reminders almost seems more gentle, like it allows for the fact that I’m only human, and will lapse from time to time. Anyway, here they are:
To be patient and understanding
To not be selfish
To avoid assumptions and expectations
To be caring and supportive
To want less and give more
To stay present
To love regardless
A few notes:
To not be selfish: It was rather good timing (for me) that CampariGirl shared this Martin Scorsese quote a day or two after I’d written this list.
To avoid assumptions and expectations: This one comes courtesy of A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. I’m sure we all know, to some extent, that assumptions and expectations can be terrible things, but I just thought Naoko (one of the protagonists) put it so well: “Assumptions and expectations will ruin any relationship, so let’s you and me not go there, ok?” (or something like that – I still don’t have my own copy! It is on order, though…)
To want less: From the Buddhist concept that wanting causes suffering. I used to only think of this as it applied to material things; I reckon it’s only this year that I really reflected on all the intangible things I want too.
To stay present: Surprisingly hard to do (or not surprising, considering my propensity for worst-case-scenario thinking, and constant speculation about outcomes of various actions, words, etc). Thank-you to Eckhart Tolle and Marcus Aurelius for trying to drill this home.
To love regardless: From a previous post I wrote last year.