With even the best intentions, it’s hard to be a good person all the time – or even a lot of the time. Years ago when my husband Daniel and I were relatively new in our relationship, I resolved that I would clear up any bad feelings I had toward him as soon as possible and certainly not go to sleep on them. I’ve done well with that self-promise. Not necessarily because of being such a wise woman, but because it’s more painful to be out of love with him than in love. So, it makes sense to find a way back to love as soon as possible. I would like it if I never got upset again, as I did tonight. I would like to have transcended anger, self-criticism and tears by now in my life. But the best I’ve been able to muster is to clean up any messes relatively quickly, with possibly a few less of them as I go along. This is spiritual practice. Someone said that’s why it’s called practice; it’s something we do over and over. I love the writing of Jack Kornfield from A Path With Heart where he says:
…Meditation is very much like training a puppy. You put the puppy down and say, “Stay.” Does the puppy listen? It gets up and it runs away. You sit the puppy back down again. “Stay.” And the puppy runs away over and over again. Sometimes the puppy jumps up, runs over, and pees in the corner or makes some other mess. Our minds are much the same as the puppy, only they create even bigger messes. In training the mind, or the puppy, we have to start over and over again.