..this morning, before all of this entered my frame of mind, one of my boys came to me complaining about the other brother's unkindness. i had to ask him, 'what could you have done better?' he said he could have not acted silly in his brother's face while the brother was preparing to pray -- but he further added that his brother 'is being unkind these days' and wanted to blame the incident on his brother's unkindness. the one who was about to pray yelled at his brother and spoke unkindly in response to being bothered. all this brother wanted to do was blame his brother for being disrespectful rather than look at himself and see how he could have responded better..
instead of yelling, blaming or expressing their anger in other unseemly ways, we always remind them to practice using their spiritual powers or their higher nature -- ie., the virtues latent in our soul. but we also listen to them, too, and feel their pain and support their sense of feeling violated or treated unjustly. this time i responded in turn with my lower nature -- remiss in my duty before God to nurture them spiritually -- by scolding them for forgetting to practice this essential principle of overlooking each other's faults and focusing on their own faults:
accursed wouldst thou be, and to this I bear witness."
i asked them to be silent and reflect on their misconduct. all my joy was washed away by the storm of disunity. i wasn't able to counsel them with tenderness and loving-kindness. i didn't listen to what was troubling them in their hearts. after they went to school, feeling discouraged and unhappy, i wished that i had listened to what was troubling their hearts..
..being blamed is the theme of the day. i am being blamed for the break-in -- many people are affected because i trusted a group of kids in my home and one of them betrayed that trust.
though blaming others when angry about a situation isn't necessarily right or conducive to creating a solution, i still must reflect on it (as i hope our children will learn to do as a natural habit of reflecting on their faults). i have to look at myself and see my connection with how the break-in occurred..
initially, my ego responded defensively and with sadness. my soul responds to it differently. if i remove my ego from the reality of this situation, i can admit that, as a soul, i wasn't wise, or wise enough. even with wisdom, trouble occurs as a natural test in life, but without wisdom the trouble is much greater..
i acknowledge that there were some kids in my house whose parents i hadn't met.. there were a couple of kids i didn't know well enough to trust yet.. and i had a party 2 months ago with 60 kids who didn't come inside but who now knew about my house, my laptops (which were on a table outside to play music) and i didn't know most of them..
as i stumble through this situation learning about myself, accepting to be blamed so i can grow in ways that may be difficult or painful, i am consciously practicing another virtue: detachment. in this situation, detachment looks something like this: don't care what people say about you if it's bad, and don't attach yourself to the good things people say about you -- both make your ego act like a veil between your spirit and your soul.
..as i learn to be more wise, i mustn't let what people say or think about me make me feel bad about myself or prevent me from having a 'pure, kindly and radiant heart'. detachment is the necessary virtue at all times if we want to grow as a spiritual human being. we must arise after we're knocked down, allowing other people's blame toward us launch us into self-reflection, while ever focusing our attention and energy on what we could have done better..
when the boys return from school today i will revisit what happened this morning, using my spiritual nature: i will listen to how they felt and then encourage them to practice using their spiritual powers as the means to discover true happiness. i will empathize with them as i know how difficult it is to overcome one's own ego when blamed.. and i will apologize to them for not listening with patience and tenderheartedness. :)