PDF Life is an Open Hand, Carry Yourself

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Buddhism teaches us that whatever causes our suffering has its roots in the Three Poisons: Ignorance, Hate, and Greed. Ignorance is the mother of all poisons. When we see that someone is doing better than us, rather than focus on how we can improve, we get stuck on the current status. When we compare, we see things as static. We look outside what others have rather than inside what we can change. Ignorance is clinging to people, objects, or emotions. We try to control things instead of letting them evolve. Hate arises from ignorance. We believe the world revolves around us.

We want to stand out from the universe instead of seeing our connectedness to everything and everyone else. Envy and jealousy are just defense mechanisms. Unfortunately, delusion creates a vicious cycle. Not only it frustrates us; we crave for more.

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Attachment motivates envy and jealousy. We direct our envy at those whom we compare ourselves, such as your co-workers, friends, relatives, or neighbors.


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A picture-perfect society is doing us no good by encouraging envy and fruitless comparisons. If ignorance is the mother of all poisons, then wisdom is the universal antidote. Being wise is appreciating the water around you.

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Wisdom is listening to other points of view without discriminating and carefully examining facts even if they contradict our beliefs. Wisdom is about being objective rather than biased. To be open to change our beliefs when n. Certainty can cripple your wisdom, as I wrote here.

Embracing a skeptical mindset will help you see life sharply. The path of just believing what you are told is easy. The path towards wisdom requires confidence, courage, adaptability, and patience. Letting go of your possessions and relationships requires wisdom too. They can contribute to your joy, but your happiness does not depend on them. You stop looking at what others have. You free yourself from owning or being owned. To know yourself is to accept yourself. Reflect without judging yourself. Are you jealous?

Living with Open Hands

Are you always comparing yourself to others? Deep inside, you might feel insecure, frightened, betrayed, or threatened. Feedback will help you uncover blind spots so you can conquer them. To increase your self-awareness , you need to look outside, not just inside as I wrote here. People who score high in self-awareness know themselves well and understand how others see them too.

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Become your own standard. Learn to appreciate yourself for who you are, not for what you possess or your achievements. Social pressure adds unnecessary frustration. It seeds more envy. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday.

How Do You Carry Yourself?

Comparing to other people is a lose-lose situation. Healthy jealousy happens early in a relationship; it can be improved by improving the self-esteem of affected partners. Honesty is critical to stop early symptoms before they produce a jealousy outbreak. Embrace trust as something fragile and imperfect, as I wrote here.


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  6. Jealousy is about control; trust is about confidence and freedom. Looking at others for inspiration is not bad; the problem is trying to be like them. Each life is unique. Those who compare themselves to famous entrepreneurs end doing nothing. Choose your destination and take the learning route, not the shortcut.

    Envy and jealousy are not just lethal for yourself.

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    They can also harm those around you. Sometimes you need to take a little bit of your own poison to realize that.

    Feeling the pain firsthand will help you realize the side-effects of your own behaviors. If you suffer from envy, interact with people that have dramatically less or more than you have. Live one day with a total budget of two dollars. Compare both experiences to see what it says about you when you experience the extremes. Improved self-awareness can make you a better leader.

    How to see yourself clearly: skip the introspection trap. Great article. It means slowly relaxing the tension that squeezes your hands together and accepting your existence with an increasing readiness, not as a possession to defend, but as a gift to receive. In prayer, you encounter God not only in the small voice and the soft breeze, but also in the midst of the turmoil of the world, in the distress and joy of your neighbor, and in the loneliness of your own heart.

    Prayer leads you to see new paths and to hear new melodies in the air. Prayer is the breath of your life that gives you freedom to go and to stay where you wish, to find the many signs that point out the way to a new land. Praying is not simply some necessary compartment in the daily schedule of a Christian or a source of support in a time of need, nor is it restricted to Sunday mornings or mealtimes.

    Praying is living. It is eating and drinking, acting and resting, teaching and learning, playing and working. Praying pervades every aspect of our lives. It is the unceasing recognition that God is wherever we are, always inviting us to come closer and to celebrate the divine gift of being alive. In the end, a life of prayer is a life with open hands—a life where we need not be ashamed of our weaknesses but realize that it is more perfect for us to be led by the Other than to try to hold everything in our own hands.

    You Are the Beloved. With Open Hands.