Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Self-awareness, Humility & Gratitude

     It's shocking when we start being a bit more self-aware, and thus have some insight into how others likely perceived us in the past. Shunryu Suzuki said that the life of Zen is a series of embarrassments. We become filled with wonder & immense gratitude that so many people could have been so understanding & tolerant of such miserable behavior on our part. Humility looms - only briefly at first.
     Afterwards, when we are subjected to hurtful behaviour, we're less likely to strike back or even criticize. It's now OUR turn to be understanding & tolerant - and there's MUCH to tolerate!
     It's a real tongue-biter when someone with fairly constant bad behaviour is openly critical of our now relatively benign behaviour. Blind spots are invisible to the individual who has them. We see others' faults way more clearly than our own. Super-critical people have minimal self-awareness. Gradually we see ourselves more & more clearly, accept our own imperfection, AND others' imperfection ... and we criticize less & less.

Steve McCurry   http://stevemccurry.com/

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