Question: I live in a neighbourhood where the sense of keeping surroundings clean, including the front yards and back yards, does not seem to exist. The backyard of my immediate neighbour is full of trash”¦old tube lights, tooth-brushes, old furniture, bottles, and what not. I cannot tell her to keep her backyard clean as I am afraid she will begin complaining about one or two of ‘my’ stray cats wandering into her compound. Each day I have to look at her garbage heap and simply keep quiet! This fear of her snapping at me or cursing ‘my’ cats if I tell her about her garbage is a cause of tension and stress for me. What is your advice ?
Sadathullah: The problem you are having is mental. It is existing in your mind and you are not willing to accept and deal with reality. The reality is that your neighbour’s backyard is dirty, and you do not like it. If you do not like it, then it is your problem and not your neigbour’s. Every time you see the dirty backyard you go into the denial of reality mode, and this denial of reality is causing you stress and tension and not the dirty backyard. When you are in this state of denial, you resist the reality, and this causes you to look at your neighbour as an object and inferior to you. Internally you start hating your neighbour, and this hate causes an internal conflict within you. “You are committing a sin.
Further, what is stopping you to act positively are the ifs and buts, a conversation in your mind. You are in self-deception, in a world of illusion. You cannot see that you are creating your own problem and you think that your neighbour’s dirty backyard is the cause. Your denial of reality is not allowing you to accept the situation as it is and so you are fearful.
Now, to overcome this situation, go and meet your neighbour and share your feelings with her and ask her if she has any issues with you so that they could be resolved. This one action will free you, and your stress and tension will disappear. This is living in reality.
Life is simple, the reality is simple, but your mind is making it complicated. Not only you, but many other people are stuck up with such similar problems like yours.