"When he heard himself saying her words, he got the message. He understood what she was up against, and it humbled him."
On recognizing spiritual pride
We had another wonderful meditation session on Saturday, filled with interesting insights and meaningful conversation. Our reading for the day was a passage from a Pema Chodron book on the importance of compassion for others who're struggling with difficulties that often mirror our own, though we may not always recognize them as such. (See below.)
Chapter 72 'They're up against what you're up against'
in The Pocket Pema Chodron
I met a young man who had been on a spiritual journey most of his life. He was awake but smug. He suffered from what's called spiritual pride. He was complaining about his girlfriend, who was having a hard time giving up smoking; the anxiety was triggering an old eating disorder. The young man said he just kept telling her to be strong, not to be so fearful, to be disciplined. And she would tell him, "I'm trying. I'm really trying. I'm doing the best I can." He was angry because it didn't seem to him that she was trying. He said, "I know I shouldn't be getting so angry about this. I know I should be more compassionate. But I just can't help it. It gets under my skin. I want to be more understanding, but she's so stuck." Then he heard himself say, "I'm trying. I'm really trying. I'm doing the best I can." When he heard himself saying her words, he got the message. He understood what she was up against, and it humbled him.
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