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  • Writer's pictureTracey Lee


I spend a great deal of time in thought. I live in my head! Not just for my writing but in pursuit of being a better person. Of late I feel like I might have let myself down in the quest for attaining the best version of me. The world has made me cranky. People have been vexing me greatly. The degree of vitriol spewing forth from many directions has drawn me into the vortex of negativity. And I don’t like it.

I do believe we are capable of being kind to each other. I am happy with life and generally really like people. It’s a bit “Pollyanna” but fits me better than cynicism and bitterness. I have, however, for some reason temporarily lost my rose-coloured glasses and started to think fairly negative thoughts about the state of us. Humanity that is. And then I was introduced to the idea of Ahimsa.

Ahimsa is a Hindu practice of compassion and non-violence. Its essential meaning is 'to not injure’. And I believed that I might consider myself quite open to this practice; at least on some level. I certainly don’t act violently. I detest physical aggression and hostility. But the second level requires practitioners of Ahimsa to avoid violence in their words. Now this might be more challenging especially in my state of vexation. I can be critical and I do have a terrible habit of muttering some ugly descriptions of people who act poorly. I don’t name call although I’m tempted at times. But I think I can also get a handle on this too. I can be silent when I choose to.

The third part of this multi-dimensional concept is perhaps the real challenge. One’s thoughts must also avoid being injurious and detrimental in nature. A major stumbling block here. The little voice inside my head has some deleterious things to say about the world. It, meaning me, makes some toxic conclusions about the state of things. And it is this that I’m working on.

Ahimsa probably has to start within. After all not acting violently and not speaking in a brutalising manner are relatively easy. Keep your hands to yourself and fall silent! But how to shut-up that malicious harpy who lives between my ears is a more complicated procedure and one that obviously is at the heart of acting compassionately. So peaceable thinking is my new mission. It’s likely to be a lifetime challenge with numerous failings.

I’m starting with three things; the elimination of hyper self-critical thinking-I really can’t be as terrible, hopeless and awful as I think I am. Secondly, avoidance of revenge thoughts-I do not have a nemesis who must be punished with my crafty mind tricks. And thirdly, I will be less judgmental of others’ actions and words-perhaps they just don’t know about Ahimsa.                       

So I start my ‘thought-wrangling” quest. Follow my journey in subsequent blogs.


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