Chicken Mudita

Hello lovelies, thinking you are going to read an anecdote-like story with a yummy recipe – perhaps a spicy, Indian curry – with chicken? I am sorry to disappoint you, but there is no such thing.

Mudita is a word from buddhism, meaning the joy for the joy of others, as opposed to envy. Envy is no good, envy makes one suffer mentally. I am not an envious person, I don’t like to suffer myself and I don’t wish for others to suffer. But some things in life I really dislike, such as eating on my own at night.
My boyfriend attends the birthday party of his aunt Anne. I remember one of her parties in her intimate garden on a lovely, sunny day. It was before I got ill and I recall happily doing the dishes with another aunt, Anske. Both are very nice ladies and I tell my boyfriend to give them my regards.
After years I have learned that this is not for me, that we cannot go together to this birthday party. There are plenty more occasions where my partner is going on his own. By now I can accept that I am staying home alone. I feel no envy, nor even aversion, but perhaps a tiny bit of jealousy. But the Mudita I mentioned, well, that is quite another story.
Anne is hosting her party during the early evening. It starts at four PM, leaving me alone for dinner that night. Do I feel joy for the joy of others that evening? I want my boyfriend and family members to enjoy themselves, have a nice time with laughter and fun. He will share interesting stories with me the next day. But my Mudita would be far easier to experience if the social event was not this inconvenient to me, but of course that is not the way it works with Mudita. I should feel joy unconditionally.

As with most things in life, I try taking baby steps. For now, I stick to Mudita regarding small things, in this case the chickens from next door. I can be happy when they are happy. They chuckle softly, making me wonder what they are talking about. A nice, big worm they unearthed, the new cat on the block, or possibly they discuss the redhead on the other side of the fence – how nice her hair looks today.
Perhaps from there I can take a step to a bigger meaning of Mudita and I will find happiness when people share their highlights with me. You just wait, my lovelies: one day I am having joy, because you are.

Recently, a new and private community started on Google+: Being matters.
A mindfulness group for the chronically ill. Forget symptoms, instead embrace your soul and inner calm. Just breathe and be… You are not alone.
Life can be hard or may look turned upside down when being ill for years. Let us help each other out by sharing thoughts and trying to find peace. We are not human doings, we are human beings.
>> Please, feel free to join or share <<

This post is also available in: Dutch

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