The origins of bitterness

Where does the bitterness come from? 

I feel anger, and at times, hatred, for people I’m supposed to care about. I am overtaken by frustration and angst at some of the things people do and say. Why? Because I cannot bend them to my will? Because they behave in a manner contrary to my expectations? Because they don’t do what I think they should?

How pathetic. How laughable. Especially when these feelings arise from a supposed student of philosophy. Someone who claims to seek betterment and understanding.

I’m forgetting what de Mello tried to teach me about love.

“The third quality of love is its unselfconsciousness. Love so enjoys the loving that it is blissfully unaware of itself. The way the lamp is busy shining with no thought of whether it is benefiting others or not. The way a rose gives out its fragrance simply because there is nothing else it can do, whether there is someone to enjoy the fragrance or not. The way the tree offers its shade. The light, the fragrance and the shade are not produced at the approach of persons and turned off when there is no one there. These things, like love, exist independently of persons.”

A big part of the game is understanding the dichotomy of control. Not just intellectually understanding that you can’t control or change others against their will. But knowing it, on a deep, personal level. Letting that knowledge inform your actions and thoughts. It’s about seeing the world and it’s inhabitants exactly as they are and still, not withholding your love and affection. Nor trying to change them. 

If I truly understood that idea, if I truly accepted it, what foundation could my bitterness rest upon? It would have none. It would be fragile and fall at the slightest challenge.