Lessons Unlearned and Mistakes Perfected

It’s silly to allow a person I find irrelevant, yet offensive, to get under my skin, isn’t it? Yes, indeed it is. But I’m silly in that way. I react to his remarks, obviously intended as provocations, as if they’ve accomplished their aims. And, of course, they have. And that is especially annoying; I’ve fallen into a trap I could feel coming from a mile away. I simply couldn’t wait to see if he would fall into it first. If I had to select, from among my countless faults, the flaw that most frequently results in misgivings, it would be the lack of discipline. My inability to simply wait and see how others react to an overt act of “bull in china closet syndrome” causes more grief than it should. But it does. With some frequency, I find myself learning and relearning a lesson, only to unlearn it; that gives me the opportunity to learn it again, later. I make mistakes of that nature with regularity. I’m trying, I suppose, to get really good at making such mistakes. I want my mistakes to be perfect. In reality, I know before I react that my reaction will simply add fuel to the fire already smoldering in my head. I realize, from the outset, that I’m attempting to smother a forest fire with gasoline. Yet I move forward, deliberately and with the knowledge that my reaction is likely to cause a blaze of equal intensity, though perhaps hidden from my view, in the mind of the irrelevant, offensive instigator. Perhaps that’s why I react. Even though I know my reaction is unlikely to achieve positive forward momentum, at least it may light a fire of rage that may, if the world is just, consume the barrier to progress, leaving it a heap of ashes easily swept aside. My demonic metaphors, this morning, are too brutal even for me. So I’ll attempt to return to a state of quiet contemplation; where is my little desktop copy of The Essence of Zen? I may need that to spur my tranquility.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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