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Melli O'Brien



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Transforming Hard Feelings

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today I'm going to talk about how we can

transform hard feelings towards others.

So did you know that a rattlesnake,

if cornered, often becomes so angry

and agitated that it will bite itself.

This is a great metaphor for

what the harboring of hate and

resentment against others is like.

It's a biting and a harming of ourselves.

We often think that we're harming

others in holding onto this kind

of ill will, but the deeper harm

we really are doing to ourselves.

So, if we feel hostility towards someone,

perhaps someone who's harmed us or let

us down, or a difficult person in our

lives, how do we get past these emotions?

Goodwill and ill will in the

end, just come down to your

own intention and mindset.

You can have goodwill and intent

towards others, or you can have

ill will and intent towards others.

It's really a choice.

If you have feelings of ill will, you'll

almost certainly create vicious cycles of

negativity and anger within yourself and

probably in relationship to the other.

Goodwill, however, breeds

understanding, peace and healing and

connection both within and without.

And when we focus continuously on

the hate or disdain we feel for

another, we tend to focus on their

bad qualities and justify our position

over and over again in our mind.

We make the other wrong or bad

and ourselves right and good in

the stories we replay in the mind.

So one strategy to heal the loops

of hatred and transform hard

feelings is to reflect on the

good qualities of that person.

Perhaps we can recall a brief

moment where we saw this person

being kind, helpful or cooperative.

Secondly, we can also acknowledge

that this person has suffering.

We can understand that despite

their mistakes and flaws, this

person probably truly does want

to be happy like we all do.

But probably their unawareness and

suffering led them to do what they did.

So, if we can see this person through

the eyes of understanding like this,

we see that we're only wishing harm

towards someone who's probably already

suffering and harming themselves.

And perhaps we can even begin to extend

wishes of loving kindness instead

of wishes of harm, wishes that their

suffering may ease instead of continue.

This can be really challenging, right?

I know because we don't really

want to let go of our hostility.

But in the end, this letting go

of hard feelings is a gift we give

to ourselves because we begin to

fill our own mind and body with the

energies of kindness and compassion.

So in today's meditation, we'll take

some time to let go of hostility

and generate loving kindness.

But also today, see if you can notice

when even the smallest bit of hard

feelings comes up and remember to ponder

this other person's good qualities

and their suffering and see if you

can soften and transform those hard

feelings into goodwill and kindness.

So as always thank you

for doing this work.

Thank you for your practice

and now inviting you to settle

in for today's meditation.

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