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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oh, Those Tricky Buddhists...

You think you know a lot about Buddhists and they go and surprise you again.

Wait...you don't know a lot about Buddhists?

Well, neither do I, but I read about something very interesting this week.

Idiot compassion

Ever heard of it?

Definition (according to Buddhists):  
acquiescing to others' unreasonable demands

Sound familiar?  We all do it, but sometimes you just have to know when to say no.

It's hard, yes...very hard because we're all "supposed" to do all we can to make other people happy.

But it's not always good for us.

Sometimes it's disappointing.

Saying no is hard when all you want to do is say yes.

Saying no is hard when you want to be there for someone else.

Saying no is hard when what you're saying no to would be lots of fun.

But sometimes it's just not in the cards.

Sometimes it's just not good for you.

Sometimes it's just not good for those around you.

As I thought about the definition, I considered the term "unreasonable demands."  I don't like the word "unreasonable" that much, but then I thought about what really constitutes a demand as "unreasonable."  

The word unreasonable could be something completely reasonable to others, but just unreasonable for your life at that particular time.

I marvel at the people who say yes to everything.

I secretly wish I could say yes more often.
I know I wouldn't let people down.

Then I remember that they're going to burn out one day and that they're not preserving enough of themselves by saying yes all the time.

Self-preservation is important and it's the only thing that will keep us whole.  If we're constantly splitting ourselves into a million pieces for everyone else, there's no core...just a splintered self.

The article that I was reading mentioned that constantly saying yes to "unreasonable demands," could lead to stress and resentment...I'm sure we've all been there.  Angry about something we agreed to knowing that it was "all our fault."  

There...within that misplaced anger...is another layer of self-blame.  What are we doing to ourselves?

I don't think that self-preservation equals selfishness...I think they're two very different things.  I also think there is a fine line between the two.

So, how about it?  Anyone want to become a Buddhist with me?