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To add on, I don't think neglecting my looks stems from a place of insecurity - rather, it's more of a 'look at how vain and showy you used to be and all the trouble that got you into; let's stay away from that for now'.
@DhammaDragon I am quite secure with how I look, and I am not unattractive.
If anything, I am more insecure about my knowledge on Buddhism, what I should and shouldn't be doing as a 'good' Buddhist, which is why I felt compelled to post on here and find out more. My question, to be exact, is: is it ok to be concerned with outward appearances as a Buddhist practitioner - and that has been answered already, so I think I'm good now.
Thank you for sharing your perspective. Together with the rest of the replies here, it has all been very helpful to me
That said, I probably come across as stiff and mechanical in my understanding on buddhism, given my limited exposure to Buddhism, so do bear with me
Hi again everyone. I have had a rather rough day today grappling with my emotions, but your kindness, concern and support (although sympathy is the last thing that I need right now!), has made everything this much easier to bear. Especially given how I might not be able to share this with anyone I know in real life. I don't feel so alone right now, so much thanks to all!
@mosquito You've have really hit the nail on the head. My entire day today was a practice in mindfulness every step of the way (and for some reason, the image of Ajahn Sumedho's smiling face made me sob a little, hah!). I felt the waves of pain come and go, and I think I did pretty ok.
Also, as what you have suggested, contemplating on my own actions and the path that I have to take on my own, instead of placing my focus on him, has helped to clear my mind a great deal. Thank you for reaffirming that I am perhaps heading in the right direction. I will definitely bear your words in mind when I hit my next emotional stumbling block.
@federica Your understanding and empathy is deeply appreciated. I am probably quite bear-like in that aspect, myself!
@Dakini that pricked a little but no harm done, and you did give me a chuckle or two so I guess we're even!
@Kaydeekay I think you're really seeing the picture that I am seeing right now, and a double-bind describes very aptly what I'm feeling. Trapped between a rock and a hard place! It will be something to contemplate on when my emotions are less raw and I have enough mind and emotional space to do so. And thank you for your pointers on non-attachment. It really does boil down to balance, after all.
Much love and thanks to all.