- Sometimes you say that the ego masks itself as the voice of God. Could you please explain what you mean by that and some practical ways to identify which is talking in any given moment or situation?
- My almost-4-year-old daughter has several friends whom we have playdates with periodically. There is one particular girl, who is similar in personality to my daughter (they are both quite strong willed), and when they get together, ultimately they end up clashing.
This usually comes about as a result of them wanting the same thing, and not wanting to share or take turns. This doesn’t happen so much with my daughter’s other friends—some of whom are quite strong personalities, but it still doesn’t happen like with this other particular friend.
I love spending time with this girl’s mother, so we both keep our hats in the ring and keep trying to get the children together. But, it usually ends up in us having to take our girls home, because it ends up quite volatile at times. I end up feeling very embarrassed, ashamed, and quite angry. I handle it well with my daughter in the moment (removing her from the situation, and explaining to her the consequences of certain actions and coming up with ideas of how she can work better with the other girl).
However, it feels like there is something I am not getting (about myself) because this behavior between the two girls keeps happening! Yes, I understand I have willfulness; yes, I am often not being happy when I don’t get what I want, etc, but these are not new issues. These are things I work through constantly.
Can you offer any suggestions as to how to handle this situation? Or is it asking me to just not spend time with this mother and her daughter any longer?
- My brother is gay and has a large chip on his shoulder about the way gay people are treated in the world. Our immediate family is very loving and accepting of him, but many of our relatives are fundamentalist and have unspoken judgments, although they never speak them. At family gatherings, which are very important to my mother, my brother often picks fights with some family members. I have spoken to the other family members and they claim that they didn’t say anything to initiate a conflict. I believe them because my brother’s temper is widely known in the family and people know not to say anything that might offend him. My mother has become increasingly upset by this dynamic and other family members are also upset. How can I talk to my brother about his behavior when it is such a sensitive subject?
- What is the benefit of having a living spiritual master or teacher? How does a true spiritual master or teacher empower their devotees?