my friends on this thread,
the first challenge for each of us is to love ourselves. this is not necessarily an easy task. when i tote up all of the vile and nasty things that i have done in this lifetime i sometimes think that i need a red asbestos business suit and and an air conditioned office. then i sit back (without a cigarette for the first time in about 55 years) and realize that each of these opccurances was a learning experience and was, at least in part, a function of my bp letting itself out for a run. the bp, for good or ill, is a part of me. if i try to deny it, i am denying myself. if i learn to love it, i am learning to love myself.
the next challange is to refrain from being too judgemental with yourself. i discovered that i would beat myself up about incidents that i would have let pass in anyone else. in 100 years will anybody care that a particular report was a day late or that you got a B instead of an A on this one particular examination? (if you answered "yes" to this question, you are beyond my small contributions to sanity.) Let it go, people! just let it go. it doesn't realy matter.
Finally, there is the challange of sharing what you have learned. there are two major branches of buddahism, miniyana and sidiyana. The first says tha if you achieve nirvanna you are to keep your path to yourself because by sharing it you involve yourself in the karma of another person. sidiyana, on the other hand, acknowleges the sharing of karma but says that this sharing is not necessarily a bad thing. i believe that if you fail to share your path, you are losing out on perhaps the greatist force on earth: human emotion and human reations to a multitude of stimuili. it is true that your canceer cannot help mine, but knowing how you have dealt with this scourge may help me to cope. have i been everywhere, done everything, and have my fill from this decanter? hardly. i have tried to end my life many times and, fortunately (or unfortunately if you ask my ex) couldn't even succeed in this simple task. I have lived in Germany and travelled all over western Europe and i've liven in England for almost 10 years, doing a lot of travelling there. at the same time i have hurt a lot of people with insults and injustices that can naver be forgiven. In my work i developed systems which would only be used in the event of world war iii - no holds bared and nothing held back. may the egods forgive me things i have done in the name of "national security."
what i am trying to say is that we all have our idiocyncristicies and our own crosses to bear. you cannot take away my idiocyncristincies nor can you bear my cross. but by dealing with these three challenges perhaps we can help each other.
That light at the end of he tunnel? It's an on-coming train.