Realizing I am an emotional tyrant

My daughter has recently helped me realize how my non-acceptance has hijacked my Dharma understanding to turn me into an unwitting emotional tyrant. 

I often see clearly how delusions seize my kids and family and how they and I suffer as a result. I know the opponents and how they should be thinking instead. My non-acceptance that they need to work through things themselves, my non-acceptance of their suffering, my non-acceptance of the drain on me associated with having to bear the brunt of their delusions or to have to spend the time to help them work through their delusions has all combined together into an implicit expectation on my part that everyone around me be emotionally perfect; and if they are not, I am judging them, becoming frustrated by them, and expecting them to already be free from their delusions. 

This in turn makes the people around me feel like an emotional failure, makes them hate themselves and beat themselves up for not already being perfect. Because they are trying to live up to my expectations of emotional perfection, they then begin to repress all of their delusions, pretending they don’t have delusions, which then causes things to fester and build up underneath the surface. Inner stress and tension then builds up in them into chronic anxiety and self-hatred, which then triggers more delusions in them in a vicious spiral.

I see now how I have been doing this to my eldest daughter, with my son, with my other daughter, with my mildly autistic son, with my other son who has no particular problems so I expect him to be even more perfect. I have been doing this to my wife for 25 years. I do this with my father, with my brother, and even to this day, I do this with my long dead mother. 

Of course, I haven’t been doing this on purpose, and wasn’t even aware it was happening. It’s all very subtle and sub-conscious in all those involved; but when brought to the surface, I now see it quite clearly. 

This behavior in me manifests most strongly when I am very pressed for time and feel as if I have no capacity to deal with one extra burden of some emotional meltdown or problem by those around me. I have felt I don’t have time to deal with others’ delusions, which then becomes a non-acceptance of others who still have delusions, which then turns into them not accepting themselves still having delusions, leading to repression, anxiety, and self-hatred in them in a vicious spiral. As my daughter so aptly pointed out, the truth is accepting others as they are is actually more time efficient in the long run because non-acceptance leads to even more problems. I actually dont have time to not accept others.

Becoming aware of how I do this is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received in my spiritual life, and I’m extremely grateful to my daughter and to Dorje Shugden for helping me see this. Old habits die hard, and it will take a long time before I’m able to change, but whole new vistas of potential spiritual growth now appear before me.

7 thoughts on “Realizing I am an emotional tyrant

  1. Very well described. I think we all do this to a greater or lesser degree — I try to remember that everyone is a future Buddha, so none of them is doomed, but nor are they there yet so we need that patient acceptance 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing such an honest post with us

    On Fri, 19 Apr 2019 at 09:26, Kadampa Working Dad wrote:

    > Kadampa Ryan posted: “My daughter has recently helped me realize how my > non-acceptance has hijacked my Dharma understanding to turn me into an > unwitting emotional tyrant. I often see clearly how delusions seize my > kids and family and how they and I suffer as a result. I ” >

  3. Now thats what I call a really honest look into the Mirror of Dharma.That is one of your best teachings,Ryan.Thank you,I can really learn from this.

  4. So it’s not just me? Ha! On the one hand praying sincerely to improve myself so that I can free others from their suffering and, on the other, feeling bombarded and overwhelmed at times and thinking, “Would everyone just sort themselves out and give me a break?!”
    Thank you for your honesty Kadampa Working Dad – helpful to me and many others, I am sure. And I am sure we will all get there in the end -through the love and blessings of holy beings transformation is naturally happening – bit by bit. So may we all go gently and joyfully 🙂

  5. Wow,
    This is so on the money once it’s pointed out. I must say there was some relief when I realized that i wasn’t alone with this demon and need to also accept the fact that I have many of the delusions that i so readily see in others……..and accept my self warts and all with the intention of purifying.

  6. Thank you Kadampa Ryan you’ve reflected for all of us an embedded samsaric mindset, and that’s ‘a home run’ for getting beneath and rooting out the demon of our self cherishing.

  7. When I see others as Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Dakas, Dakinis and Dharma Protectors, emotionally perfect spiritual teachers, they become that for me. Having said that, we have to learn to be skillfully wrathful with a pure motivation 😉

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