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a striking call for change
November 2nd, 2016

illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)

a striking call for change

Experiencing guilt and regrets after behaving unwholesomely does not imply « you're a good person, deep down, who simply had a bad moment… » That's too easy.
Instead, it implies that « not only you behave unwholesomely but also you're aware of it! » and this is a call for change!

Refraining from impulses is « hard »? Oh yeah? How comes you don't use this line of reasoning when you're on the "receiving" side of abuse?
If it's that hard, then get help… Strong help, not easy excuses… Yes, spiritual work and emotional work are "work"! It's not "holidays", and « I'm trying » is good but it needs to be seen through! Sometimes it's about trying harder, in other circumstances trying smarter, elsewhere it's about trying different and new and taking risks to let go of what doesn't work (and, possibly, never did) no matter how long you believed "it should". The help you seek should offer alternative / complementary perspectives, not just a witness or a mirror (even if that's important too).

If you don't "work" to reform what you're aware of, then how do you imagine you'll reform anything at all?
You cannot work on what is unconscious, you have to look first (which is what meditation is for) and make it bubble up so you can finally engage with it. What you're aware of is not an object for cheap excuses… that'd be wasting wholesome opportunities.
If the clouds of your mind are illuminated by a flash of insight, then it's time to use the information, to move in and to dispel these shape-shifting defilements!
You're not the defilements, so thinking that you're "a bad person" is not only pointless but also mistaken… This being said, don't become "negligent" by doing nothing to cease the ignorance, lust, attachment, aversion or hatred that was just highlighted! Enquire into its causes, and root them out… Create the (internal) conditions that will support appropriate thoughts, appropriate speech, appropriate behaviour!