If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha.
If you meet your father, kill your father.
Only live your life as it is,
Not bound to anything.”
My life was in shambles. I had a dead end job. My bills were mounting up and my daughter’s father was late with the child support. I was starting to feel like I was trapped inside someone else’s nightmare. I felt myself turning into a horrible, bitter person. There was so much unhappiness surrounding me and I could see the way my bitterness was starting to infect those around me.
I had to change. And the answer, I found, laid in what has become my favorite quote.
First, I had to embrace nothing. I realized that part of my unhappiness came from worldly desires. I wanted to have the latest and greatest of everything: from technology to clothes to hairstyles. I spent so many days chasing after material things. I felt so empty on the inside that I believed the only way to be filled was to buy more. I wanted – needed – to accumulate more.
But my spending only made things worse. I didn’t have enough money to pay bills. Debt started to accumulate. I sank deeper into depression and I started to resent life. I hated waking up every day. Life became a burden until I realized that I needed to embrace nothing.
I had to let go of everything. I had to learn to be content with nothing.
Trust me – that was not an easy task. Instead of shopping at department stores, I started going to thrift stores. I found really nice items for so much less. I stopped buying every new cell phone that came out on the market – in fact, I started buying off-brand cell phones which did everything that the brand name phones did.
I was learning to be content with less. I was learning how to not want the latest trends.
You see, I confused my wants with needs. I felt like I needed to be part of the trendy crowd. I was under the impression that I wouldn’t be cool if I didn’t have what everyone else had. But you know what – no one said a thing when I showed up at a friend’s party wearing an outfit that cost me less than $30 to put together.
In the end, those feelings of not being part of the trendy crowd were all in my head. And my friends still like me no matter what I’m rocking.
IF YOU MEET THE BUDDHA, KILL THE BUDDHA
Not literally of course! Humans love idols. It’s like we’re naturally born with this desire to worship something – whether it be God, technology, or even ourselves. We tend to take our beliefs of what something or someone should be like and force those ideals onto others. When the other party doesn’t live up to our expectations, we become hurt and angry. We feel cheated.
It might seem a bit egotistical to many but I truly believe that our beliefs are something that live inside of us. Instead of becoming our own ideal, we would rather push those beliefs onto someone (or something) else just to have something we can worship, admire, or adore.
To give you an example, I tried to make the father of my child into someone I knew he wasn’t. Deep down inside, I knew that he didn’t love me. I knew he would never accept me for who I was; that I would always be his dirty, little secret. And when I could no longer pretend that he was perfect, my world felt like it had been shaken right down to its very foundation.
Kill every preconceived notion you may have of a person. Expect nothing of that person and accept them as they are. Doing that helped me to see people for who they really are – not what I wanted them to be.
IF YOU MEET YOUR FATHER, KILL YOUR FATHER
Go kill yourself. Not literally, though, but metaphorically. In order for me to achieve happiness, I had to kill everything about myself – even the things my parents taught me. I had to rebuild myself from the ground up.
As we grow up, our ideas and beliefs are shaped by our environment. My mother taught me to rely on a man for support. My father taught me that men aren’t reliable. My friends taught me having meaningless sex with random people was cool.
My surroundings had shaped into a person that deep down inside I didn’t want to be. It took getting pregnant and dumped by the father right after to realize I needed to kill myself. I needed to kill every belief and idea that I had been taught from birth and discover the person I was meant to be.
ONLY LIVE YOUR LIFE AS IT IS, NOT BOUND TO ANYTHING
Successful people don’t whine and complain about how unfair life is. When they get knocked down, they simply regroup and move forward. Successful people are not bound by the past – they look at their failures as a learning lesson and move on.
If you remain stuck in the past, are you really living? Successful people didn’t become successful because they dwelled on every mistake they made. Successful people don’t mourn about the life they didn’t have – they carved out their own path to create the life they wanted.
I learned not to let myself be bound by negativity and failure. I learned not stay stuck in the past – there’s nothing in the past that I can change so lingering there won’t do me any good. Instead, what I can do, is appreciate the life I have now. I can be grateful that each morning I wake up and get a new chance to make my dreams a reality.
I learned to embrace nothing, to kill my preconceived notions, to kill myself, and live my life not bound to anything.
Author Bio – Raymonda Rice is a full time nurse and part time freelance writer. She’s also a single mother, raising a beautiful 8 year old daughter. In other words, she’s quite awesome. Feel free to check out her blog, On Writing and Other Such Things, which is dedicated to helping other freelance writers find their way.