Tolerance is tough, it might be the most difficult practice for me. The title of this post is something my stepmother has said to me more times than I care to admit, and since a fairly early age too. Ignorance and ego are the ones that really get me, a mere reflection of my own fears and shortcomings I suppose.
This past Saturday night I sat in Kirtan. To my right was a solid, peaceful spirit. A young man with a shaved head sitting cross legged like a stone, emanating calm and centeredness. To my left, the opposite. A physically loud man. An ego struggling with the lack of attention. The ego looked around the room trying to catch someone’s eye, fidgeted, sighed, could not sit for more than a few minutes. The ego struck up loud conversations with anyone who gave in, prematurely exposed the location of the post-Kirtan chai and clapped and danced erratically at the slightest chance.
What a poor soul, being carted around by such a thick ego-shell right? Those are my feelings now, but at the time I was genuinely irritated. Doesn’t he know this isn’t about ‘him’ I thought while reminding myself to avoid any glances to the left. I didn’t want to feed his ego and validate the neediness but that sounds very unloving! I am truly struggling with the balance between supporting and comforting others versus rewarding their own stagnant toxic traps and enabling their samsara.
My love still has so many conditions…