Against the Grain

If your kindness has left you feeling foolish, any generosity has been taken advantage of, or your vulnerability has been used against you, you may wonder what you are doing in this world.

You may suspect ‘others’ are right in their assessment of your ‘impractical’, ‘out-of-touch with reality’, ‘naive’ and ‘gullible’ nature.

Worse of all, you may be tempted.

Tempted,
To meet the need to fit in.
To be driven, blinkered and ruthless in the rat race.
That takes you to places you don’t even want to go.
But must, because that is where everyone ‘who knows anything’ is headed.

Tempted.
To be who you are not.

Pause.

Take a deep breath.

And ask yourself:

Who do you really want to be?  

And how do you want to express this being in the world?

How authentic are you being right now?

I love stories and the powerful impact they can have on us.  Perhaps this short Zen tale may help you find your answers:

Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung.

The other monk asked him, “Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know it’s nature is to sting?”

“Because,” the monk replied, “to save it is my nature.”

I would add, “Because the wound of going against my own nature would be more painful than the sting from the scorpion.”

Photo Credit: Chinmay Kulkarni

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9 thoughts on “Against the Grain

  1. If i hv understood correctly, this post emphasizes on – “sticking to our true nature”. For that we gotto accept the way we are and the way world is…but at times it feels like misfit. then what?

  2. Reminds me of a time when my help tried to steal money from me. When i found out, I actually offered her the amount as a gift. Some people thought I was pretty stupid – but I ended up making a friend for life. What followed were endless ‘puran polis’ and lots of love. And a commitment to making my house the cleanest on the block. No regrets about that 🙂 Thanks for writing this. Love

    1. For me the question is not of outside appreciation or approval, because seeking that or being dependent on that is in itself a perilous path. As I wrote in the post, it is how I feel about it. And I most definitely feel far better being who I am, rather than a restricted or false version. The choice is our own to make.

      love and light

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