Every day, I not only listen to so many stories, but create many myself.
And yet, Venerable Bhikkhuni Madika’s words still ring in my head from her Disturbing Emotions workshop.
She said, “drop the story and put an end to the suffering!”.
It is so easy to get caught up in the trivia of day to day living. He said, she said, etc etc..
And not only that, but thoughts that arise in ones own mind can easily take flight if we are not mindful. And unfortunately, mine often do. All that it takes usually is something small like a big bill showing up in the days mail. Almost instantly the stories begin to bloom into fairy tales. How will I pay this, where will the money come from, where can I get more business right now, and on and on. I can hear the theme song from Gilligan’s Island playing in my head… “if not for the courage of the fearless crew, the Minnow would be lost”.
How quickly I turned a piece of paper with ink into something so much greater!
And clearly, it is the story I am creating the creates my suffering, not the piece of paper. The paper is simply that, a piece of paper made from a tree. And the bill that is printed on it, is simply ink.
But what about the responsibility of that bill that needs to be paid?
Well, that responsibility exists regardless of the story right? And the story does nothing to help pay that bill.
But bills and responsibilities are only one way that we can easily get lost in a story. Just let someone say something to you that you don’t like, and watch the story unfold!
Relationships, bills, illness, even the weather can all cause us to create stories.
That is unless you can be mindfully aware of this story arising in your mind, then you have the opportunity to just drop it. And it truly is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to let go of suffering, and simply be present. Smile!
I hope this reminder to myself may be of help to you also. I am sure that each of us will have a chance to try this out today. And I think that with practice, we can each develop more love and acceptance for our life and one another.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.