‘Loving kindness isn’t a thing, like money, that the more you give, the less you have. It’s more like having a lit candle in your hand. This person asks to light his candle from yours, that person asks to light hers. The more candles you light, the brighter it is for everyone – including you.’
‘Beware of fall-in-the-well kindness: the cases where you want to help other people, but instead of your pulling them up, they pull you down.’
These two quotes by Ajaan Fuang Jotiko.
At first sight, and in an either/or mind-set, without further investigation into the core of the matter, they can be taken as contradictory statements. One time I am encouraged to give from an unlimited source – ‘the room in my heart is infinite, there’s no limit to what can fit in it,’ sings Joe Reilly. But sometimes there are people who can drag me down so easily when I am not settled – or when my own flame can hardly be called a flame anymore – or when i do not know how to balance out kindness with equanimity – and unable to apply appropriate attention and skilful means in daily life situations.
I find it is exhausting and really detrimental to my mental and physical well-being if I try to be kind, so to speak, without being aware of a grudge and at times without challenging my point of view. It helps to relate kindness to the power of equanimity: the intuitive knowing that everyone falls heir to whatever one does, for good or for evil. This doing starts with what goes on in the mind, it starts with the mind at work. Am I trying to achieve results by my giving a helping hand to somebody? Am I able to be cool if it seems clear that somebody is in need but unable to accept my support, at the moment?
In the past, life always got quite strenuous when I tried to change others before realising that the more I get upset about something or somebody the more my self gets bothered and the more bothersome I become to others.
Don’t make life a hassle by ‘just trying to be nice’ but also do not create a callous atmo by not giving a fuck. ‘How about not giving a fuck about not giving a fuck hmmm?!’ suggests Jon Lajoie. Be compassionate alright, that means just let my heart speak to the heart of somebody else. If the heart is not being trained to do this on a daily basis it will always seem artificial and phoney.
Don’t try to save the world. Save yourself. And how to save yourself? You know already. By seeing it clearly, the make-ups and make-beliefs, the stories and worries. Know them by heart. Then you know others. And then there’s no more need to practise metta cuz you have realised we’re all sitting in the same boat. As long as we’re in it we gonna make the best of it.
Metta is simply the appropriate response to the fact of life.
Wake up friend. Be your own best friend. Everything is play when you are friendly towards yourself. Anything that isn’t play? Don’t do it. For nobody’s sake. And pleeease … not for your own idea of becoming a ‘better’ person. I have been the dummie. Thou don’t needst to be the dummie.