Just what is right living? According to the Buddhists it is living based on the precepts of the eight fold path. According to most Christians it is living in accordance with the scripture. In the Islamic faith it is living by the 5 Pillars of Islam. All of these are worthwhile and great goals but for most of us it is still a little unclear what exactly the path to those things are. For those who are not faith based there is no real clear guidance. I hope to be able to lay out my ideas on how to achieve right living in a series of posts. My path is not faith based although there are some tools and ideas taken from various faiths around the world. I also want to state I am by no means an expert. I am struggling along with everyone else. I decided to post this because I see people discussing the need for it and the why of it and not much discussion going on about the how of it.
Clearing the path to Integrity
At some point in our lives most of us have learned that in order for our lives to be fulfilling we have to get in line with our morals. We learn that living outside of our own morals and standards is a disservice to ourselves. As with all paths we discover it is not as simple as we might have thought. This is the beginning of walking the basic path of right living.
We feel that we don’t want people in our lives that don’t uphold the same values as we have, at least not closely in our lives. The clearing process in this step is long and difficult. It can be filled with pain as we sometimes have to let go of those very dear to us. We also have to let go of ideas of who we think people are. Family members and long term close friends are among the most difficult to release in this process. Learning to see people for who they truly are and not who we want them to be can take a long time. It is also an ongoing process. As we peel back the layers of our sight we continually see more clearly who we and others really are. Most of us know who these people are deep in our hearts. We may not want to admit it but somewhere we know. This is exactly what stands in the way of right living and fulfilling our true potential, knowing but not acting.
As I personally see it the current political climate has brought this particular issue into the spotlight for many people. We have discovered that many of our friends and family don’t have the same moral compass as we do. I know it has been personally painful for me and I am fairly certain I am not alone. Some are easy to let go of and we can shed them without a second thought. I have witnessed many clearings of friends lists on Facebook that serve just this purpose. Other people present a much more difficult situation. It is painful to find out that someone you care deeply for does not share your same set of values. It hurts even more when you determine that for your own best interest you have to let them go.
This part of the process forces us to confront other very difficult questions. How do I let these people go and not hold negative feelings and guilt once I see them for who they truly are? After all some of these people we love deeply. How do I let go of people I am so close to? How do I process the feelings when I am forced to deal with people who aren’t walking a moral path that aligns with my own? The biggest one I have seen is someone struggle with close family that doesn’t share their same morality. These are extremely difficult things to work through and each of us will approach it in our own way. I will share my thoughts and what I have done in the next post.