Yesterday’s blog post seems sour to me. I feel like I want to apologize for it. I want to be able to be frank, to tell my own truths even when they’re dark. But I don’t want to practice that ugliness itself in my posts. Even as I write I realize there is no real way to avoid this (not being a saint). I’m not always going to know when ugliness decides to sneak in without my consent. I don’t blame myself for bristling at what the teachers say or for feeling left out. That’s just human, and I want to be able to be human even when it makes me look petty or ungracious. But I should have said I know the teachers don’t mean any harm. They’re not trying to put themselves above the rest of us, even though that’s how it strikes me when it happens. I know this is true because of how they feel to me as people. Because they wouldn’t do that. This was just their lead-in to talk about their truths, to tell us what they have come to know over time through their regular meditation practice. One of our teachers reminds us often not to take her word for things. The Buddha tells us to experiment for ourselves, to not take anything he claims on faith. But for me, neglecting to acknowledge the teachers’ intentions are not to set themselves above us, are not to exclude anyone—this is not to me the worst part of my last blog post. The worst part is the way I put myself above them at the end. How hopefully I would do better. I would be more inclusive. What crazy hubris was this, and right in the wake of accusing them of the very same thing? I knew I wasn’t comfortable with the post at the time, but I was tired, and I was determined to make my Friday deadline. I didn’t look close, didn’t recognize why it made me squirm. Now I am embarrassed, but I think, too, I’ll just be glad for the humbling in all this. I don’t want to put ugly things out in the world if I can help it, to have them sour the overall flavor of my posts. Even if I end up having to return the next day, belated recognition of what I did without knowing. Please accept my apologies.
I love honesty in blog post. As “ugly” as it may look… just keep writing!
Oh, thank you! I will absolutely keep writing, ugly or not. ;-)
I didn’t hear ugliness in your earlier post, just FYI. As leneijapan noted, it seemed honest. But it’s more important for you to feel “right” about what you put on your site. I love reading your thoughts, Riba.
Thank you, Bart. This whole thing has been a little weird for me. I am no stranger to apologizing to a friend after the fact for an icky tone or because later I felt “wrong” about something I said or some subtle interaction between us. But I have not had this experience in my blog before (that I can remember, at least!). I am often not especially “satisfied” with a post, but because I am committed now to one per week (and a few more in the course of the year) I try to accept that sometimes I won’t be pleased.
This was different, though. It really did make something in me squirm, even though the ending on the surface had only good intentions, for being inclusive, for being kind, for embracing our human imperfections.
I appreciate you telling me you didn’t hear ugliness, though. It makes me feel less embarrassed, I think, to know it wasn’t “glaring.” It is clearly more about my own feelings. Anyway, thank you. And thank you again for your other recent post about that internal dialog that speaks to not being accepted when we were young. That was very sweet of you.
And I love hearing you love reading my thoughts. I am so glad. :)
And may I say ditto??!!!