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Pretenders Bridge (Backbiting)

Contributed by Bear Warrior

Pretend you're above it, looking down from a mountaintop
It's real easy nowadays to find yourself in conversations where people are talking about other people, saying things they probably wouldn't say if the other person was there. What most people don't understand is that gossiping has the same effect on those we talk about that sickness does. It works against them. Just as when we talk about Aunt Flora's bad knees and, in doing so, we make her knees worse, so do we make things worse for people we backbite. But with backbiting, there is an added detriment: we make things worse for ourselves, as well.

It works like this: If we are talking about a neighbor, for instance, it is because we've first been entertaining thoughts about that person. As you're learning, thoughts are invisible but very potent, nonetheless. And they are received - always - by whoever we're thinking about. So, if we're thinking about being wronged by our neighbor, we are actually reinforcing our neighbor's "wrongful" behavior. We're adding to it, and here's the kicker. If, when we are backbiting or gossiping about the neighbor, we are standing in opposition to them in anyway, we are also becoming just like them.

You've seen this often. When someone is complaining about another person you know, if you look closely, you can see them beginning to act just like the person they're complaining about.

The best thing to remember in these situations is that we become like whoever (or whatever) we place our attention upon. It's the Law, whether we are aware of it or not. Once we truly understand that we're becoming like the person we're backbiting - and that we are also reinforcing their discordant behavior - shouldn't that give us pause to reconsider our own actions?

The deepest desire
of every one of us
is to know that we are loved,
to know that our world will feed us
and give us all that we need
just as it freely surrounds us
with the air we breathe
the water we drink
the land we walk upon
Constantly giving to us
like a parent to a child

We harm ourselves and others in ways we don't realize when we backbite or gossip. Wouldn't it be better if we were to use our precious time and energy on a creative endeavor that fulfills us and makes us happier? And what would happen if, instead of giving in to our fears of lack and losing (which is why we gossip in the first place), we were to think kindly thoughts of our neighbors? That's what will give us the results we truly desire for ourselves.

My Intention for today is:
I Intend that am rising above any behavior that isn't serving me and my fellow travelers.

If you have a chance to make life better for others and fail to do so, you are wasting your time on Earth. No matter what our station in life, we are here to serve, even if that sometimes means making the greatest sacrifice of all.

Sooner or later you are going to learn just as I did, that there's a difference between KNOWING the path and WALKING the path.