I am the worst buddhist ever, officially. They made a plaque up and everything.
I have no distance from my emotions. I get lost inside them and lose all sense of perspective. I can see objectively that they aren’t that important but it still feels like they are the most important thing in the world.
I know that people are all imperfect and flawed, but when I care about somebody I can’t see them that way.
With people I am either too distant or too close, either inaccessible and trapped in my own head, or blurting out my every thought and feeling and scaring them off. There is never any pleasant middle ground.
When I am hurt I get angry and burn all my bridges and make everything worse. I can see it happening but I can’t stop it. It doesn’t matter how many times I go through it, next time I will do the same thing.
I can turn an imagined slight into a trashed relationship with the flick of a wrist. I know the other person probably acted completely rationally and sensibly in their own head. But all I can feel is my own hurt and the distance between the way they see me and the person I want them to see.
I have read about how when somebody is feeling bad about themself, they will see negatives as eternal and positives as flukes. I know this is a habit, but I can’t stop myself thinking yes, this is how it always goes.
I can look back at all the times when the opinion of somebody meant the world to me, when their lack of regard for me seemed like it would destroy me, and I can recognise that in retrospect, most of those people weren’t that important, and I got over it, and then I couldn’t even see, looking back, why their opinion meant so much in the first place. Why did I even care so much?
I can see that, but it doesn’t stop my heart hurting every time, just as much.
In the in-between times I imagine that I am growing and changing and becoming such a strong person; that I have learned from all my past experiences and can apply that knowledge to future encounters and handle them maturely and with kindness and not let myself get dragged into the spiral of emotions again.
But I am the worst buddhist in the world. And this is how I won my plaque. There was also a sash. And a small puppy came and handed me a wand that I could wave and fix all my problems. And then we all slept soundly because everything was all right.