The one thing you will always struggle with in your practice of mindful living is, whether to do what you know is the right thing to do or whether to do what everyone else is doing around you.
This decision becomes even harder when you know, for sure, that what others are doing is not only wrong, but also bound to cause them unhappiness and suffering in future.
It hurts you to see others walk the wrong path in life day after day, every day.
You know that their path is wrong and you are divided between your loyalty/ relation/ friendship to them and what is the right thing for you to do at that moment, even if it’s fully opposite of what they do.
This is a tough choice to make and it doesn’t get easier for anyone among us. Each one of us has to make this difficult choice: should we just walk along with others or continue to do what’s right for us to do.
What I have found in my own experience is that even if you do take the path that others want you to take, sooner or later you find yourself at a point where you must turn back and walk your own path.
The thing is, either you do the right thing now, or you go round and round in circles and then do the right thing.
You will have to take the right path some day, at some point in your life, so why not do it sooner rather than later?
For one who wants to live the mindful way, there exists one and only one path, the path of truth; which is also the path that will put an end to all your sufferings; which is also the path that will actually bring happiness to others around you; which is also the path that will show others the right way, the right path to follow, in their own lives.
To take this right path you need to have the right understanding first, and then you need the courage to take that path, and once you have decided to walk on that path, or have walked a few steps already on it, then you need the determination to keep walking on it for the rest of your life.
There are no shortcuts in this path. There are no real tricks and tips on this path, but sheer determination and persistence.
Also, this path is as hard for you to take as it is for me. No one should excuse themself from walking the right path in life. No matter what excuse you have to not walk on this path, it’s not much different from anyone else’s excuse.
Just as you have your own barriers to overcome, the same way I too have my own barriers to overcome to walk on this path, just as others before you and me had their own barriers to overcome before they could successfully walk on that path.
This path gets easier for no one. The only way it becomes easier is by struggle and choosing the difficult, but the right thing, at every moment in your life.
The reason so few people follow this path is because, to them, it seems counter-intuitive to choose a hard path, though it may be right, where an easy one exists.
Sometimes even simple things in life can become a bit difficult if you choose to follow the right path, and it’s in these simple things, rather than just the most important things, that your true values, your true determination will show up.
Taking the right path means to show kindness and compassion to every being instead of hatred and violence. It means to respect every life and not to kill it for your own selfish reasons.
It means to say yes to walking a mile to bring groceries, and not taking your car and polluting and harming this planet.
It means to show love and respect to the dying and taking care of them, and not to abandon them when they need you the most.
It means to get rid of all your attachments, instead of getting attached to more and more things. It means to be happy and content with what you have, and not become more and more selfish and greedy with each day.
It means to be patient with each and every one, and not shout at little annoyances or interruptions.
It means spending time in reading about mindfulness and practicing meditation, and not watching movies or wasting time on internet every day.
In short, it means to see and understand, truly see and understand, what is right and what is wrong.
If this sounds hard at first, it’s because that’s the way it is, at least at first. Once you have gained enough practice walking on this path, it will start to become easier.
And while we are on this topic, let me admit that I often fail to walk the right path in my own life. Actually more often than I would like to admit. The only thing I can do then is to first become mindful of my own self, of my own mistakes, correct them, and then continue again to walk on the right path.
It’s only the repetition of walking on the right path that, one day, actually makes it easier for you to walk on this path.
Then, all of a sudden, the very things that seemed hard to you, become easy. Then you don’t find yourself choosing between two options – between right and wrong – as the only thing that’s left for you to do is to do the right thing. That’s the only thing that exists for you, and you do it without much thought or effort.
And then the more you do the right thing, the more things you see that you need to do further right.
This goes on and on, until the only thing that you end up doing from morning till night, and then even in your sleep and in your thoughts, is the right thing and nothing else.
And then it doesn’t matter to you what anyone else is doing, as you are busy doing your own thing, the right thing, the only thing you need to do.
Until that happens, keep walking on the right path as often as you can. If you find no one else accompanying you on this path, then worry not, walk on it alone, but the important thing is that you keep walking and not get lost in what others are doing.
Next time, whenever you are faced with two or more paths, then don’t ask yourself who else is taking that path; if your friend/ relative/ hero-figure is walking that path.
Only ask yourself is this the right path? Because if it is, then the only thing you do, the only action you take, is to walk on it, and not worry about anything else.
That’s all for today. Thank you for reading this far. If you found it useful, then please share it with others.