So many people spend their energy criticising the very nature of their being…

Sharp Knives

Part of the the Heart & the Law collection

I keep being reminded of a comment I posted on “Pure Desire Feels Good To You”:…, a great post on its own written by a good friend and former co-worker of mine. Though my comment in its original form remains there, I’m reposting it here, with some adjustments…


I think this is such an important thing to note… So many people spend their energy criticising the very nature of their being; that is… when we are hungry, we eat. When we are cold, we seek warmth. When we are tired, we seek sleep, or rest. When we feel lonely, we seek companionship. When we are horny, we seek physical pleasure.

Yet we’ve built up so much resistance about even these basic impulses. Instead of allowing ourselves to feel tired, to feel unfocused, to feel distracted, we cover those feelings up immediately with criticism and rejection. Note that we don’t even allow those feelings a right to exist given current circumstances, when we could be exploring why we feel, how we can work with it or change our actions in order to avoid the same situations if they’re getting in the way of who we want to be.

The thing is – emotions, feelings, desires – should never be repressed or denied. They should be unquestionably accepted – they are a representation of the form we take as human animals with minds, perhaps spirits, souls or connections to the divine. (That doesn’t mean we don’t learn from these things and our reaction to them; but if we are spending all our effort resisting and criticising our current circumstances, we fail to focus on working with our natural impulses, cycles, reactions)

To deny our form and the resulting limitations and effects of being in these forms brings us no closer to happiness or enlightenment, even if we sit 23 1/2 hours a day and refrain from looking at the opposite sex and live a life of total simplicity.

One of the truths I’ve accepted is that the sword of understanding – the sword of Dharma – can be used to cut through our bullshit quite effectively… but it’s equally effective as a weapon against ourselves if we decide to use it in such a way.

That space between a desire, an emotion, a feeling, and an action should be filled with acceptance of what is, followed by skillful choice. Using that time to refute that we even feel such a thing – that’s like playing with very sharp knives.

Mila (Jacob Stetser)

Mila is a writer, photographer, poet & technologist.

He shares here his thoughts on Buddhism, living compassionately, social media, building community,
& anything else that interests him.

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