10-10-21 Renuncation of Negativity

Renunciation of Negativity

Renunciation – The formal rejection of something, typically a belief, claim, or course of action. “A renunciation of violence.”

The only way out of negativity is a recognition of our own fallibility and a renunciation of our will to power—in other words, the only way to stop fighting is to stop fighting, and that means addressing our desire to fight in the first place.— Quora, Forbes, 29 June 2021, Paraphrased

We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength. Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be the firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built…Asking each morning in meditation that our creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love. The spiritual life is not a theory, we have to live it.  AA

“In Buddhist teachings, as well as in the teachings of many other contemplative or mystical traditions, the basic view is that people are fundamentally good and healthy. Everyone who has ever been born has the same birthright, which is enormous potential of warm heart and clear mind. The ground of renunciation is realizing that we already have exactly what we need, that what we have already is good, and we can connect with that.

It is an attitude, a way of approaching life, which essentially boils down to giving up seeking our fulfillment from the experiences of our life, of needing them to have a particular quality, and giving our energy instead to understanding experience itself. Renunciation is moving towards non-contention, a sense of rest and relaxation—not having constantly to try and manipulate and control and evade and maneuver any more. We are able to open in a fearless way and relax into the experience of the moment. It’s probably good to think of the ground of renunciation as being our good old selves, our basic decency and sense of humor.

Restraint is a tremendous sense of freedom and relief. There is a real ease and relief in not having to be obliged to run after the world all the time. It really has to be experienced to be believed—how wonderful it is, what a privilege it is…learning to play like a raven in the wind.” Pema Chödrön

“And it’s not blaming “it” or “them” out there for our sense of unsatisfactoriness. Unpleasant
people and things and experiences are always going to exist—but where is the actual problem?
The ability to respond wisely and compassionately to life naturally arises in the non-attached mind. There can be both activity and letting go.”  The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

When we do not rely on others to make us happy, when we know our own self-worth, we can forgive those who have spoken or acted out of thoughtlessness or ignorance, and renounce our need to retaliate. We can “go high.” We will know that we’d best avoid or disregard those who have intended harm towards us, and we will refuse to play their harmful game.

If we feel the need for revenge, “Getting back at them,” we will only be promoting the same thing that hurt us, and this harm will continue on and on increasing in strength.

The best “revenge” for the people who hurt you is to show that they’re no longer the reason
behind either your smile or your tears. The best revenge is to improve yourself.

When we realize we are the ones who have acted in a harmful manner (yes, sometimes we are the ones causing the problem), we need to simply and directly make amends the best we can, and renounce the need to be perfect. We don’t demean ourselves; we learn, grow, and let go.

It can be difficult to release that need for revenge or the desire to hold a resentment. We do have the capacity to renounce our negativity towards others, and it usually takes time and practice and releasing it over and over. But it is heading in the right direction, not just wallowing in resentment and unhappiness. And, though difficult, it feels right. We renounce hardening and continuing to hide, manipulate or control.

Remember that you can’t control others. Find your own happy. Don’t rely on other people to make you happy. First of all, it’s not their job. Second of all, you’ll end up disappointed and frustrated A LOT. Instead, find your own sources of happiness—ones you can control, and that speak to the natural essence of who you are.

Keep a healthy space between yourself and others, a “loving detachment.” You are connected to all life, but you are not “attached” to it. What your child, boss, partner or parent does or says is not you. Realize that other people and events aren’t why you get upset. Needing to defend your ego, having YOUR point of view as truth, trying to control others or situations and judging them—that’s why you get upset. In essence, you are choosing to get upset.  You can also  choose to renounce the judgements and fear, and open to the amazing space and energy that is available. 

Mindfulness—whether you’re sitting on the meditation cushion, walking from one place to the next, or are at work—allows you to observe yourself “silently,” and watch what unfolds and arises from within you. This can take time and can be challenging, but the process itself is very rewarding. You find there’s less and less to get riled up about.

Even great spiritual teachers cry, smile, laugh, and play. They may have moments when impatience or frustration arise, too.  They’re ultra-human, and not indifferent in the least. But they don’t entangle themselves in these emotional states by firing up an aversion to the “negative” or the desire to extend the “positive.”  This is the beauty of renunciation, of detaching from the superficial ego responses.

We learn and can feel more often what is healthy and what is unhealthy in our lives. We will cultivate the healthy aspects and release the unhealthy parts without fear of losing who we are.

The whole journey of renunciation is starting to say yes to what life truly is.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for
May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.

Heart Of Recovery web site  — fcheartofrecovery.com