Growing Pains

[Listen to Asha read this story]

(Told by Sudarshan)

I meant well, but I was too immature to handle the assignment. Eventually I had to admit defeat and go back to Ananda Village. I felt like a complete failure.

Soon after I returned, Swamiji had a party at his home, Crystal Hermitage.  I was in such turmoil I didn’t feel like being with people, so I stayed just long enough to greet Swamiji.  Then I slipped out the door unnoticed and went up the hill to meditate in the chapel. Everyone else was at the party so I had it all to myself.

My mind was churning. “Where did I go wrong?  What could I have done differently?” After about an hour, I felt a presence beside me. When I opened my eyes, Swamiji was sitting there. I don’t know how he even found me. 

Part of my turmoil was the thought that I had let Swamiji down. He had trusted me to make the situation better; instead I had made it worse.  He reached over and touched me consolingly on the hand. Then he looked deeply into my eyes and offered a few simple words of advice. “Don’t take it inside, just let it go. These things happen.” 

I felt a ray of hope penetrating the grim interior of my mind where I had been wrestling for days with my failure. In his eyes, there was neither judgment nor disappointment, just compassion for my suffering and the promise of his unconditional friendship.

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