The basic misunderstanding

People tell me, “You’re so positive”. If I’m on the ball, sometimes I explain that what they’re responding to in me is happiness, not positivity, because the two are worlds apart. I also hear people saying things like “I’m striving to be a better person”. This gives me a pain in my heart for them, and for myself. They don’t realise they are already fundamental goodness, already fundamental soundness and perfection.

Here is Pema Chödrön on the matter of this basic misunderstanding …

“The innocent mistake that keeps us caught in our own particular style of ignorance, unkindness and shut-down-ness is that we are never encouraged to see clearly what is, with gentleness. Instead, there’s a kind of basic misunderstanding that we should try to be better than we already are, that we should try to improve ourselves, that we should try to get away from painful things, then we would be happy. This is the innocent, naïve misunderstanding that we all share, which keeps us unhappy.”

~ Pema Chödrön, Awakening Loving-Kindness

Image: IAMI by Eugenia Loli

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2 thoughts on “The basic misunderstanding

  1. This is beautiful. I have read that I am an extension of the universe/source. The source is pure, positive energy and is whole and perfect. So by extension so am I. Infact when we beat up on ourselves, we feel negative emotions because we have deviated from the source’s opinion of us (that we are whole and perfect) and that contrast or gap is painful emotionally and physically. But when we are in sync with the source’s opinion of us we experience happiness, joy etc depending upon where we are. So I got this intellectually but been practicing it intellectually too more recently. When I blame or criticise myself or others I can feel emotionally that I have deviated from the source’s opinion of myself and the other person that I’m critical of. It drains me out. But when I reset this, i come back into sync. My hubby catches me too – he doesn’t like it when I criticise myself and will interject and say you don’t need to be better, you are perfect already. N that stops the downward spiral.

    Liked by 1 person

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