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just taking dictation
i've done about 7 hrs of studying for monday's accounting exam today. and i have more than that to do tomorrow. and i still might not pass.

i'm so afraid to fail at anything. every time i study for this stupid class, i stop breathing. literally. i stop breathing for long periods, until my lungs are going to explode and i feel like i have been under water for an hour. then i take a huge gulp of air and it hurts even more. i could give a crap about management accounting, truly. and if i fail, i will take it again next semester. i won't be done this stupid degree for a couple more years anyway, so what's the rush? plus, i haven't taken a math course since grade nine basic math, which was what - 18 years ago or more? and i never took an algebra class, which most of this course is predicated upon. is it so unexpected that i might have troubles?

but it isn't about the time or money it would take to re-do the course, or anything else. at all. i just can't fathom surviving a failing grade. its ridiculous. but it doesn't make me any less anxious.

but as i stop breathing and contemplate the devastation of a failing grade in accounting, i am trying to apply what i am learning about buddhism to all this stress and worry. haha, with my one week or so of reading under my belt.

it seems, from what i have read so far, that buddhism is about seeing what is. accepting reality and being at peace with what is. and that the core of our discomfort and unhappiness comes from our desire or efforts to make reality something other than what it is. IE, the reality of the situation is, I suck at accounting. my discomfort comes from not accepting that fact, or wishing it was not the case.

so, my logical next mental step is that, according to buddhist approach, i should stop devoting energy to wishing i didn't suck at accounting, and make peace with the reality that i just do. is that right?

of course, there is a huge possibility that i am totally misunderstanding. because i'm not sure this can really be the way it is meant to be interpreted. as comforting as it is to throw up my hands and admit i suck at accounting and be at peace with it (IE not think about it and be unhappy about it anymore) - how does that accomplish anything, really?

say you apply this approach to something that is not as inconsequential as my hatred for accounting. for example, say i know someone who hates someone else based on their race. is it really the buddhist approach to say that the reality is that person A hates person B, and that my discomfort comes from a lack of acceptance of this reality? ergo, if i simply accept the reality that A hates B, i will not be as unhappy?

it just seems so apathetic and selfish - which makes me sure i must be not getting it yet.

it is easy to accept everything. it is not as easy to acknowledge the actual reality of something, but to still see why it should not be the reality. i get that this is where unhappiness comes from - it makes me unhappy that the reality is that A hates B, and it makes me unhappy when i wish it weren't so. it makes me unhappy because i want that not to be the reality of the situation, i want a different reality.

but wanting things to be different is like, key to making the world a better place. its how anything has ever been improved in the history of the world. well, that sucks - it shouldn't be that way, i will do something to change that.

but the other half of the equation in what i am reading is wanting to end suffering for yourself and for others. i get that accepting reality for what it is and not investing energy in resisting / trying to change the reality might end your own suffering, but i am not as clear on how that relates to ending anyone else's suffering.

so again, i must be totally not getting.

it's hard to read all this stuff and not know any actual buddhists IRL. for example, i read all this crap in my accounting book and completely don't understand it, but luckily i have the CFO at my company who is an accountant who i can visit and ask clarifying questions. not so with buddhist info. but maybe it is kind of good to have this thing to myself to figure out on my own, with no outside influence. plus, there is no exam, so the pressure is not the same, lol.

i'm sure it will get a little more clear with more time and more reading. but besides the confusion above with how to accept reality and still end suffering for other people, i am really enjoying what i'm reading. a lot of it makes a lot of sense, and it is making me feel better to read something that i can relate to and imagine myself applying in real ways.

but, i have to admit, i think i am programmed for worship. i love that buddhism isn't this big monotheistic thing that demands faith and blind adherence. but i think i am wired for blind adherence. i miss reading / relating to something that feels like faith. despite my having removed myself from the catholic church and all christian-based faiths, i still long to take my ability for mindless worship and deposit it in some gross patriarchal figure that will somehow promise to protect me in return. it's gross, but it is what it is.

luckily, we can be wired for things that we choose consciously not to participate in.

luckily, we can also consciously choose to participate in things that we are definitely not wired for, like management accounting. and whatever results that may bring.
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