Everyone messes up sometimes. Even me. Sometimes, I mess up more than once in a single day.
That’s why today I’m going to talk about mantras.
In Hindu mysticism, mantra refers to a sound, a series of words, that can help to clear your mind. It’s basically about introducing good voices into your head. It only sounds strange if you don’t believe in “hearing voices.”
When people talk about mantras, you may want to run and hide. But wait a minute.
If something silly could literally save your life, would you run away just because you don’t really get it?
We all know that there’s something wrong with the universe. We know or hope that things once were/someday could be better. Eventually we need to find the reason behind the reason behind the reason – and fix it.
Ultimately, if all we’re doing is reacting to the voices in our head, saying each time that no, I will not kill Bob, no I will not punch Bob, no I will not steal Bob’s key to the office in order to pin a break-in on him and then get him fired. All of this mental work can get exhausting. Wouldn’t you rather do something else?
I have found coloring to be quite soothing. Also long walks and “prayers” with my “invisible friends” occasionally involving more curse words and f-bombs than you might think would be involved in the typical prayer to God.
If so, you are probably doing prayer wrong. In my opinion.
Here’s the little secret that many people miss: because prayer is private, you can say whatever the hell you want. All those things you’ve been wanting to say out loud? Say them out loud. Then, maybe, find better things to say. Respect the process.
For God’s sake, do not try to be pretentious and perfect about it. No one ever has to know your inner thought life, especially if you don’t believe in God. Then it’s literally just you shouting at your innermost self. Your innermost self will understand.
You may have heard of a story called original sin. FYI it’s not *really* about an apple or a snake. Snakes and apples are not evil. Nor is any kind of reptile or fruit. Nor is food or animals in general. Except maybe chocolate.
I wanted to draw attention to the fact that there is a brand of ice cream called Forbidden Chocolate. Well-played, Friendly’s. Well-played.
Where do we start when it comes to being better, to fighting back against the bad voices in order to make room for the good ones?
Change generally requires imagination. It requires believing the good voices in your head – the voices which say that Bob *might* continue to get away with being Bob, but that doesn’t mean you have to stoop to his level.
To be clear, if Bob really does deserve punishment, then why not report him to your boss or to the police? If Bob has shown himself to be especially sneaky about avoiding detection and punishment, why not report him to karma or the universe or to God? While you’re doing that – keep thinking about ways to improve the system that *probably* won’t get you arrested.
If you do get arrested, try do so in a way that gives you fifteen solid minutes of conversation with a man like Martin Luther King Junior, who could tell you a few things about getting arrested for the *right* reasons if he weren’t dead. (It’s a good thing we still have so many people willing to listen to his voice.)
A word on righteous vengeance – say kicking that troll right of your chat feed. Yeah, that might feel pretty darn good too. I think that should be allowed. After all, there are plenty of other people that person could be talking to – and so can you.
We all get to choose who we allow in our own personal space, for what reasons and for how long. Try to make good choices and set appropriate boundaries.
If you can report crimes and expect to believed, then be glad. Keep in mind that there are a lot of people who can’t, because of the color of their skin or serious fear of reprisal to themselves and their children. You might be the only voice for the voiceless. Choose your battles and your consequent punishments – if any – very wisely.
If you act in this way, you may find yourself having fun with even the most menial tasks, such as sweeping the floor or taking out the trash.