My attachment to appreciation

Once, while I was in retreat, the thought came to me very strongly “I will go to the ends of the earth to seek appreciation!” the thought was so clear and stark, and I saw that in many ways I have done that in my life. Having a glimpse of the depth of my attachment to appreciation was a real eye opener and recognizing how much time and energy I have spent in my life to procure it was a shock. I now recognize this attachment as a compulsive and impulsive force that can manifest in many interactions and endeavors in life. The task now at hand is to slow down, look closely at my motivations and then “clean them up” by training my mind in non-attachment to praise. This means seeing praise for what it is; someone else’s opinions. Another person’s ideas about me are not the reality of who I am; their praise doesn’t make me good and their criticism doesn’t make me bad. I need to know my inner reality, evaluate what is virtuous and what isn’t, and then steer my actions of body, speech, and mind towards virtue – Thubten Chodron

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