Things have been a little challenging at work lately. There has been some issues raised on how a certain co-worker has been negligent on the job. It doesn't help that the co-worker is my housemate, so there is no way to walk away from the unpleasant emotions stirred up along the way. It has been an emotionally draining week. Enough to make me want to just quit this job and go home.
Still, I have at least 6 months on my contract before I decide to extend or to leave. I have to weather this storm. Which was why I am re-reading Sally Kempton's essay for the Yoga Journal - on strength to weather life's difficulties.
In the article, Kempton talks about the gunas (rajas, tamas, and sattva). She explains: "Rajas is the energy of passion, aggression, willpower, determination, and drive. Tamas is the energy of inertia, dullness, passivity, and sleep. Sattva is the quality of peacefulness, clarity, and happiness."
I can see the forces of rajas and tamas at work in the situation with my housemate. I am now at the tamastic stage. The problem feels so difficult I am ready to resign. I am looking for sattva, the wisdom to resolve this .
The word sattva comes from the root sat, which means "being" or "truth." It's literally the power of beingness, the inner integrity that let the Buddha sit under the bodhi tree until he became enlightened, the power that supported Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., the power that you feel in cathedrals and redwood forests and in people who quietly offer help to those who need it. Sattvic strength is one part discipline and three parts trust—trust that the invisible is stronger than what you can see or touch, and that what you are speaks louder than what you say.
Sattva is born in stillness. True sattvic strength arises out of a willingness to wait, to allow actions to unfold out of the quiet of your center. The forceful agent of sattvic strength is the force of clear intention—a subtle, yet unbending clarity about what it is that your heart and soul truly want.
Intention—the formulation of what you want to happen—is created in silence, through contemplation. It's refreshed each time you return to it. Then, often without your knowing how it happens, the subtle power of intention will guide your actions and words, and gradually, almost invisibly, create change. The key is to keep acting from that stillness out of which the intention was formed.
Why must human relationship be so challenging?