Everything I read from spiritual thinkers to Buddhist teachers say we are born perfect, innocent beings. Ok, that might be true since I don’t know any grumpy, gossipy, pessimistic babies. But I do know plenty of grumpy, gossipy, pessimistic adults. I can easily be one of them if I don’t stop and catch myself before opening my mouth. Sometimes I do it anyway, justifying my behavior and believing that I’m just getting something off my chest. But if I’m really honest with myself, I’m just being a petty bitch.
Meditating and spending time each day studying the writings of those more spiritually evolved than me, has helped me see how my behavior contributes to a negative environment. The past few weeks during my morning meditation, I kept thinking: Why is it so easy for me to think negative thoughts in the first place? Why do I remember things in the past that pissed me off, instead of what made me happy? How can I still be annoyed with someone who is now dead? Why can’t I naturally think happy, loving thoughts all the time?
I don’t know the answers but I think it’s easier (for me anyway) to be negative. Living a more conscious life takes a great deal of effort and before I figured out that my thoughts are not reality, I believed everything my mind dreamed up; all the unfounded fears, suspicions and plain old drama. I was in a constant state of annoyance. Most of the things I worried about never came true; as for suspicions, I still have trust issues which probably stem from growing up with an alcoholic mother. Who knows how long it will take for me to completely trust someone. All I can do is keep working on it.
I guess I’m just trying to figure this “monkey mind” stuff out. If we are really born perfect, then is it society, our teachers, our siblings, our drunk mothers, who contribute to us becoming a neurotic mess by the time we’re old enough to go out into the world on our own? Ok, maybe, you’re not a neurotic mess but I know I was and still can be and I think Woody Allen is… so there are at least two of us.
It doesn’t matter how long I contemplate this because what I’m left with is more questions than answers and maybe that’s what Plato meant when he said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
So maybe I should just chill out and not worry about finding answers to my questions. Maybe it’s not about the answers anyway. Maybe it’s about asking the questions.