“Betty, this is miracle running. Woowee! Could you have ever imagined my legs feeling this much better? ”
My terrier, June Bug “Shenanigans” Bopp, has brought me to my semi-retired pet dog training knees. Since adopting her in May, she’s run away six times, killed various vermin, and got in an ugly tangle with a cat. I was on easy street with my last dog who many called perfect. But, this girl…well, she’s falcon fast and monkey smart, but I wouldn’t call her wise. Despite her foibles (and my bruised ego), I am committed to her rehabilitation since she is also very jolly and loving. She performs obedience and tricks with such gusto I can’t stop laughing during our training sessions. We’ve signed up for training classes, just like the ones I used to teach. She’s becoming calmer every day as I humbly learn how to train a “wild-haired” terrier.
Bettering myself for June Bug’s sake is one example of humility. Now, I’d like to dig much deeper into the concept of humility. Occasionally, I find myself re-living memories of someone berating me over a mistake causing me to feel humiliated. Or, I’ll re-live an anger-filled argument. These overwhelming incidents prompted me to become guarded, hoping I wouldn’t experience their anger again. The anger felt like a form of control, too—a way to stop any more mishaps by lashing out.
This never works, does it? Mistakes always pop up, and you can never fully control others. Around again you go on the ferris wheel of anger: control, frozen fear response or perhaps a fight while the guarded walls become even thicker.
Two different versions of me emerged. One version experienced the angry outbursts while the other pretended the anger ferris wheel was nonexistent while projecting a normal façade to the outside world. I also used to silently judge my antagonists. I felt superior to them by protecting myself with justified anger. The cycle of split reactions and justified anger is exhausting.
I’ve been working hard to end this cycle. I think that justified anger is actually a form of arrogance. Experiencing humiliation led me to feel arrogant towards the antagonist. Now I realize that I’m much better off if my reaction is one of humility and quiet, grounded calm. Interestingly, humiliate and humble have the same Latin root word, humilis, meaning low; humilis is also the root for the English word humus or ground.
I try hard to humbly observe antagonism and release past hurts. I think to myself, “I am not better than you. I have no special importance that makes me better.” Then, I simply, move on while saying the Pangu Shengong maxim to both our hearts. My antagonists are now and always have been my teachers and I’ve been the antagonist countless times as well.
May we live with humble awareness while striving for equality by letting go of plans of retribution or judgement of others’ foibles. Instead strive to be calm, tolerant, and humble. In The Path of Life Volume III on page 119, Pangu describes interpersonal relationships in the future. “People will be earnest and sincere in getting along with each other on an equal basis; everyone will enjoy equality and respect. All that infringes upon individuals’ dignity and values, such as the relationship of master and servant, employer and employee, leader and subordinate, will disappear completely.” I feel strongly that this wonderfully harmonious future will not suddenly appear. For harmony to evolve, we must work on our hearts. Master Ou calls it “self-cultivation” which involves lots of self-reflection and energy cultivation. As we elevate our hearts, we help our family, our community, and the entire world. Then we will hopefully experience the harmony Pangu describes. Self-cultivation improves our relations with everyone, “wild haired” terriers included.
Children's Literature - Magical Realism, Nature, Spirituality, Qi Gong #ownvoices.