Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Attitude Chages Everything
I no longer believe I am my mind. I do not yield to depression. I do not take any drugs for depression or mania. My wide mood swings have not altered, nor has anything else around me changed in any significant way. My brain is the same; it is I who have changed. My mind is the same; it is my intentions that have changed. The world is the same; it is the attitude from which I view the world that has shifted since I live now by principle rather than by feeling.
I cannot make it on my own; I cannot hold on to my sanity all by myself. But connected, finding common ground with others, I still have pain but I can stand it. I still get groundless feelings of grandiosity, but I can usually refrain from announcing them to the world. I still get the old feelings of primal-mind depression and mania, but I can separate myself out from them by judging them as irrelevant to present reality.
Someone asked Buddha, after he became enlightened, if he “was happy.” He response was simply that “there is no pain.” This side of enlightenment we will always have pain. We can do nothing about that; that is the job of the subcortex driven primal mind. We just have to make sure that the pain does not have us. We can do something about that. That is our job.
Today is a good example of how a change of attitude can change our world view. Not just about depression. Here’s my story for today. I ship out my books all the time. I got a call the other day from someone who said the mailman had delivered my book to her but put it on top of the mailbox and since it “rained all day” of course the book which was in cardboard packaging “was ruined.”
I couldn’t see how this could possibly be my fault and certainly not my responsibility. But the woman was quite adamant that I should send her another replacement book at no charge. At first I was annoyed. Her attitude seemed unreasonable. If the tables were turned I would figure it was either my fault or the mailman’s and indeed when I inquired at my own post office the manager told me the carrier shouldn’t have left it outside the mailbox on a rainy day.
So, what to do. I wasn’t going to mess around with amazon.com because they could care less. So, I thought, I surrender, I’ll send another book, dammit, so I don’t have to think about it anymore. I wrapped up a book, covered it entirely in a plastic bag so it could sit all day in the rain for all I cared (an act of irony which would not be noticed by anybody, I’m sure) and set off for the post office. My mood was not great as I had nothing else to mail and the post office is jammed today.
But halfway there I started thinking along a different line. Hey, I said to myself. You are lucky people want to buy your books and you should be grateful instead of stressed out and annoyed. So sending this book should really be an act of gratitude, shouldn’t it, for all your success? That thought changed my whole attitude. I was mailing a book out of gratitude for being an author. Not because I gave in to an unreasonable person. In a way, mailing out this book was an act of love not anger. My mood jumped higher than the moon. Nothing had changed except my attitude. A. B. Curtiss