I think one of the hardest things is dealing with toxic people and situations that are beyond your control. I don’t just mean negative people, but I’m talking about emotional abuse or even bullying. I personally think we create our own world. Not that we ask ourselves or even put ourselves in situations to be treated bad, but that we might not realize that we’ve let these situations linger, and the intensity and trauma we’ve allowed it to take on us.
We have patterns that continue to cycle in our lives because we unconsciously don’t know that life can be any different. This process is called Samsara. Samsara is the repeated cycle of life, death, and rebirth. We continue to live the same patterns over and over until we are able to learn and work through them. You can look at this as all happening during one lifetime as well.
The Ashtanga Opening Mantra starts with:
Vande Gurunam Caranaravinde
Sandarsita Svatma Sukhava Bodhe
Nih Sreyase Jangalikayamane
Samsara Halahala Mohasantyai
I bow to the lotus feet of the Gurus,
The awakening happiness of one’s own Self revealed,
Beyond better, acting like the jungle physician,
Pacifying delusion, the poison of Samsara.
If we’ve spent our lives looking for approval or trying to prove ourselves, then we may not realize we’re continually letting people mistreat us, and our vision of ourselves becomes more and more skewed. The commitment to a yoga practice will help to reveal these patterns in the mind, and eventually we become stronger realizing our amazing potential.
We realize that these situations are not actually beyond our control. We’ve never been trapped, but we’ve been so stuck in these conditioned beliefs that we didn’t know the door was open, and we can finally break free from this self built prison.
I’ve been in these situations before, and currently breaking free from one. If you’re experiencing something like this, I’d like to share something that has worked for me beyond my yoga practice.
Forgiveness & Compassion Meditation:
When people are cruel, it’s really an inner refection of their insecurities and issues. I know it’s very difficult to try to feel positive about someone who makes a point to beat you down and make you feel so bad, but we personally can’t take in their toxic energy and become negative ourselves. We have to find a way to stay positive and strong. One way I do this is by meditating:
- Find five minutes during the day, perhaps before bed, where you sit in meditation position.
- Picture the person of conflict in front of you.
- Picture a light from your heart transferring love and positivity to them.
- Say the words, “I forgive you”
- Say the words, “I wish you light and love”
- Repeat this for the five minutes, or until you feel your heart soften
By the end of this meditation you’ll feel more in control because you have developed a positive attitude, and are not letting the negative effects grow like a cancer. You are taking the steps to manifesting positivity and moving to a better place.
In How To Practice The Way To A Meaningful Life, the Dalai Lama discusses this daily practice:
- Examine your motivation as often as you can.
- Even before getting out of bed in the morning, establish a nonviolent, nonabusive outlook for your day. At night examine what you did during the day.
- Adopt a positive attitude in the face of difficulty. Imagine that by undergoing a difficult situation with grace you are also preventing worse consequences from karmas that you would otherwise experience in the future. Take upon yourself the burden of everyone’s suffering of that type.
- Regularly evaluate the possible negative and positive effects of feelings such as lust, anger, jealousy and hatred. When it becomes obvious that their effects are very harmful, your conviction will strengthen.
- Repeated reflection on the disadvantages of anger, for example, will cause you to realize that anger is senseless.
- This decision will cause your anger to diminish gradually.
What do you think about taking on the burden of everyone’s suffering? Why do you think he says that?