While moving along the Buddhist Path, I can get kinda cocky with a bunch of meditation under the belt. Feeling the wisdom slipping through the crack under the door, I relax on my self- examination.
Then a nice friend will do something out of the blue and you realize how selfish you really are or just not giving enough. That is one thing that can quickly be a splash of coffee on your white shirt.
But even tougher is when a sibling emails you to tell you how much you have screwed up her life and spews hatred that drills right into your heart. Sure, it all made up and just shows how the mind can quickly write a great fictional story. I am talking about my sister, who is amazingly bright and was very close to me for years.
Sadly, she is paranoid schizophrenic and this can be expected. By now my Buddhist teaching should be strong enough to carry me over this assault from a sick person. When I read her email everything flys out the door. I am first pissed, then, incredibly hurt. Why? Because I still love her, or at the least the person I used to know.
Can I still love her, after nearly two years of very elaborate hateful emails that cut through the very heart of who I am? And before that, almost 20 years of a very rocky road while she was in and out of hospitals, and never knowing if I am hated or loved. All the times I have cried about her unlucky roll of the genetic dice, has never changed all the pain she has gone through. It comes a time when your own self-preservation rides higher in the saddle than her sickness…she has forced me to totally cut her out of my life. She is that sick, even with her drugs. Any kind of success: be it financial, or in my case spiritual is a threat to her. She even thinks me being gay has affected her relationships.
After alienating my brother about 10 years ago, and now me…she is chopping the men out of her family, as a vendetta against my dead father. One can clearly see her mind works, and with a master’s degree she can spin a story so believable to herself. There is no doubting it for her. She has been moving further and further away from what is left of her family. Now she is far, far, away on the other side of the globe running from her mind and I will probably never see her again. She found her mind still follows her. No matter where you go, there you are! I do now and will continue to send her love during meditation and dedicate my merit to her, but it takes only one email and it quickly shatters anything left between us. You will probably say have a heart, she is not well…just give her a break. But, this will continually test everything I have learned so far on the path, and will keep me working diligently.