I find myself impressed and awed by the Dalai Lama. I envy him his serenity and peace of mind, but then I think; Of course, he’s serene, he wants for nothing (except Tibet). His followers provide everything he needs, right? He has someone to make his travel arrangements, see to his calendar. He doesn’t have worries about clothing himself, or obtaining food, or paying rent. Does he?
Don’t get me wrong. I still appreciate all the Dalai Lama does and is. I would love more than most anything to have a chance to speak with him if only for a minute. I do my best to embrace his words in my deeds and thoughts. I try always to be kind and helpful, though I didn’t always. I try to avoid hurting any living thing, though I don’t always succeed.
I also realize he has studied Buddhism for all of his years, and is therefore unable to really think any other way, though he is sympathetic and empathetic to all sorts of suffering. I wonder though, how he would fare if he had to get a 9 to 5 blue collar job. Would he worry about money then? Would he shop at second hand stores for his clothes? Of course, he wouldn’t, because it is not in his nature to concern himself with these things. How then do we get to that place?
As I consider leaving my current life, I realize I will walk away from the only support system I’ve ever had (outside of my new blogging supporters). I will walk away from everything I’ve known for 34 years. Currently I am getting unemployment, but my husband is the source of my health insurance, and unemployment isn’t going to cover food, rent, gas, and my six different meds.
I want to not worry about these things, just as the Dalai Lama does not. For Buddhists it just seems to work out somehow, without their seeming to do anything about it. Can I trust to faith that somehow I will make it alone? Most of this is fear talking, but these are also very real problems to try and work out. Perhaps, I think, I won’t need all the antidepressants once I am on my own? Therefore leaving (maybe) enough for my two pain meds.
I am worried also about hurting my family by leaving. I doubt very much they will understand and feel instead that I am abandoning them, which in some ways would be true. Will they understand I want so much more out of my life than blogging and posting political messages on my Facebook page. I want to interact with live people. I want to have passion in my life–passion for life. I don’t want to listen to the compulsive lies they tell. White lies, stupid lies. Lies that do not need to be. I am an honest person. Too honest many would say, but I cannot be any other way. I don’t wish to change them, but change myself. Will they understand? I suppose eventually they would. Maybe. I’d hope.
But I find it harder every day to accept my family the way they are. The incessant, inane arguments about whether that tree was a Lodge Pole Pine or something else and why. Really, that’s what’s important? No, what they feel is really important is that none of them is ever wrong. I have been making pointed comments about their need to always be right, regardless of the topic of discussion. I have tried to explain to them how the endless arguments eat at my contentment. So far I haven’t noticed much of an improvement.
The Dalai Lama doesn’t have to worry about hurting his family. He doesn’t have to concern himself with living on $1800 a month, where more than half will go toward rent, and the rest for food, etc. Am I just jealous that he doesn’t have the same problems I do? Of course, there are a lot of people who have different problems than mine, so why should I pick on the Dalai Lama? I guess because I see his world as easier, and I suppose I want my life and my decisions to come easier.
I know I have a lot of work to do on myself, and overcome my fears and jealousies, and studying the way the Dalai Lama lives is something noble to emulate. But how do you let go of the worry about money and food and shelter and trust that it will be provided, when you see so many homeless and hungry people out there?
Am I wrong to want more out of life than what my family offers? Can I get what I want from my life by staying? Do I want too much from life?