I’ve been practicing “understanding” and “releasing what doesn’t serve me” for the last 5 years. (This, after 60 years of trying to rationalize my unhappiness, frustration and anger). I, now, recognize that my mind usually grasps for must-know what will happen in the next moment so that I’m safe. Relying on the illusions in past experiences to determine the worthiness of other humans…the judgments, love/hate/right/wrong about people/things while living from my head rather than my heart. I still struggle quieting preconceived notions about how I’m supposed to live and love…right and wrong…acceptable and unacceptable.
What I know in this moment is that I THINK TOO MUCH. I “think” because I “fear”. My expectations, my never ending scenario building, my panic when faced with the unknown seldom comes to fruition….
I have been mentally exhausting myself staying busy…doing, doing, doing…after awhile it turns into resentment, resentment, resentment. But don’t we need to keep “doing” in order to be productive happy humans…or at least to make others happy humans? NO!
I first had a whisper of what was going on a few months ago when I said out loud, I am so sick and tired of living by the calendar. Why do I continue to over commit myself doing things I might enjoy doing if I had time to enjoy them…but instead believing I must stay busy to be valued.
It hit me yesterday as I took my walk amongst the trees, watering the flowers and the garden, sitting on the deck reading with a cool beeeze while the sun warmed my skin. I realized I was doing something…exactly what I wanted to do. My heart was happy, my brain was silent and I understood the beauty of the heart vs the brain. Doing nothing is doing something…attending to myself from my heart instead of my mind/ego feels courageously gentle.
It came to me from behind the curtain…my view from behind the veil…and then the curtains slid back and all was revealed….starkly…in black and white…the understanding.
The Daily News of the world presented for our consumption brought to you by the “human reporters” predicting the future and enhancing the past in order to inject fear into our lives. What causes us fear is the stories we already tell ourselves about our perception of the next second, minute, day, lifetime. It works because we are programmed to react…..to fear and the great unknown!
If we examine our lives, we tend to live in the future…when they say this, I will say that…. What if this happens…..I heard they are going to do this ….what if we lose our house….what if that car behind me doesn’t stop…what if (name that soul) gets sick and dies….remember what happened last time.
This human scenario is what happens each time we glob onto what we hear or read from the “pick your opinion media” or “did you hear…” Constant expansion and retraction based on the future as explained by a human with an opinion vs facts. Because FACTS have not happened yet….and quite frankly facts are interpreted quite differently depending on how we filter these facts through our personal human event center…
Each moment our personal thoughts bleed all over our reality….and reality honestly only happens in each individual present moments of our lives. No one has all the pieces to predict what will happen in the next moment nor how each individual soul will perceive what just happened. Politics, war, pandemic, what medication will kill you, the next mass shooting, whether the United States will fall because of the debt ceiling drama. Stop the heartache of what might happen especially when it is being delivered to you from someone who really has no idea; but just reporting on the odds rather than the fact. The bottom line with the news media is it all comes down to who can instill the most fear gets paid the most money.
The word carries energy and sets up an expectation in the subconscious.
When I see a task as daunting, I’m already placing a label on it…I’ve given the narrative a title.
I believe this could be said of all words assigned to a thought or a task…no matter how small or large the “unknown” is or how close or how far down the road the journey. The act of “naming” is a great way to stir up the small, repetitive mind, reaching out to Samskara’s (Michael Singer, Living Untethered) and beginning that first ripple of distraction. Being alert that this map has been followed before allows us to make a change in our expectation before the breath changes and we recognize the oxygen of our soul thinning to breathlessness of fear and/or dread. It’s never too late to stop and recognize this is only a moment..and the road to possibilities is long and lush.
Every now and then I get a glimmer of how this whole life thing works when fear is released and I am able to experience the one precious moment…….right here and right now.
I have a history of making myself miserable in thinking and in action taking care of everyone. I have caused myself a lot of work and grief and resentment ….. with the best intentions, obviously…but living blindly thinking I know what is best for my friends and family and then proceeding to do everything in my power to see it through to be sure everyone is happy. I know this is a learned behavior from my childhood…if someone is unhappy, hurt or angry, I feel the need to make it ok…..it’s exhausting!
Being human, I still often think I know best. It’s those moments when something unexpectedly just work out and I have not had an opinion, judgement, fear or hand in it, that I realize this is how it works. It’s not easy to release control when fear is served up frequently. Digesting fear and reacting from fear gives the illusion that somehow I actually have control. Nope, nope, nope.
Staying in the moment. Not reacting from judgements of the past. Not spinning the dial to figure out the next move for the future. Quite the contrary… just stopping and feeling the right now. Centering with 5 things I hear, 5 things I see, 5 things I feel. Right now…being in the present…where this is no fear of the next minute and no history to react from.
No planning, no commitment to do better, no promise to stay in the moment…just being aware when my small self starts thinking and planning and judging. That’s the moment it’s possible to just stop and center!
A Facebook post by my friend, Tami, woke me up this morning. She is “healing” from back to back years of family deaths including her husband who was her soul mate, her love and Half of Her. Over the last few years she has included her authentic healing thoughts and fears and anger through her blogs and to and with her friends. This morning she posted the song, Dirt Road Anthem by Jason Aldean. It wasn’t a song I knew even though I think it is a decade old. But to make a long story shorter, I YouTubed it and these two lines stuck out to me:
“Memory Lane up in the headlights. It got me reminiscing on the good times”
I have meaningful loving experiences on a day to day basis. Often when I take a memory photo of my experiences, I feel like I am one of the luckiest people I know in spite of the hardships and the mental fears of the future that I continually give energy to as I go into battle with them. But I often look back at my younger years…say my early 20’s or 40’s and have wistful longings for the good ole days.
…..and I know I’m not the only person who lives a good bit of life in my memories….including the hateful ones I have not yet healed from. Tami’s post hit a trigger nerve and brought clear realization that I love to think about those good times but when I have a negative memory pop in, I often immediately go to anger and hatefulness and then realize I’m doing it again and Force myself to STOP thinking about it…but, maybe the answer is to just sit with the emotion for a few moments. (Not the story but how it made me feel). Perhaps then I can mute the trigger.
The good memories…let them come, I love to smile and laugh and remember those who made me feel love and joy!
I fully recognize that I am not in a gentle place right now. I’m not doing my morning centering, meditations and I miss that contented 2020 peacefulness. That’s not to say I didn’t have a thin thread of fear running through my head about COVID but I settled in to experience those early months of the virus without the busyness that is overwhelming me now. He and I were content to just “be” in this house together…doing what felt right in the moment. We talked several times about how good it felt not to have a schedule, and not to have commitments. It was the first time I really understood that everything is vibration and energy. In simple terms, I understood the concept of sitting in the center of a room and watching my thoughts play out on screens around me. Those thoughts are not me, they are only visual concepts that change from one moment to another depending on what gets my attention.
So wah wah wah, I’m circling back! I’m releasing commitments and responsibilities that I chose for the wrong reasons. I know I must discern when my attention is drawn to those movie previews in my brain that apparently are causing me to “feel” uncomfortable, unsettled and irritable. I know that by focusing on the negative; by attempting to rationalize everything, I will experience instant karma serving it all back on a platter to me. I am what I think. Knowing I am capable of following my North Star, recognizing my emotions when I feel them….sitting with them until they subside and then with gratitude for the “I AM” soul that is me. There is nothing outside of myself that needs to be concerning or considered as I move forward in peace with my intuition and my knowing.
Why do I think everyone else’s life is better than my own?
I know that these thoughts usually only settle in when I am feeling irritable without a cause or irritable with a cause. So…irritable.
Or when I’m feeling sorry for myself…without a cause or with a cause.
Or when I have committed or not committed to do something in the future that I am often unable to follow through when the moment is now. Actually this particular situation has taken care of itself, for the most part, because I am learning the lesson of NO.. just say NO because it is not something I want to do at this time. Often after I have said NO….I feel very empowered. Standing up for myself…even if I can’t respond immediately because in the moment I don’t know if it’s a yes or no, I do understand that in the next second I may have an answer. I’ve accepted that I have quite a vocabulary and a mouth and I know how to use them.
Often when I’m driving in a new neighborhood, city, state, country – especially on a vacation – I think..ya..I like this area, I could live here or No…I don’t even want to eat ice cream here. Those memories seem to live in my consciousness so I can pull them out when I’m feeling irritable, sorry for myself, put upon, not appreciated. I USE THEM to compare my present moment with the illusion of the moment in my memory. It’s hard to remember the difference between fantasy and what I’m experiencing in the present.
But then…I can find myself when I’m sitting in solitary on the deck watching the water ripple on the pond, see the gentleness of the geese skimming across the water, an occasional ruffled feather, hear the birds tweeting in the wren house above my head, feeling the sun on my skin…reality sinks in and I know that I wouldn’t trade THIS or my life for anything. Which has me questioning sentence number 1 above:
Why do I think everyone else’s life is better than my own.
There is often a huge crevice between expectations associated with our choices and Reality… Capital R – Reality. Simply put, I’m in the drive thru of my favorite coffee shop, waiting for my turn to order, I make a snap decision and choose to get a large calorie laden coffee with caffeine, sugar and real whipped cream rather than my usual healthier choice of a regular decaf brew. In that moment of choice, I may set into motion a day of regrets and negative self talk because of the one moment (monumental?) decision. I’m hung up on the little jagged edge in the crevice as the the self talk…the disappointment in my choice…. morphs into the inner voice screaming why did I do it and why do I always make the wrong choice….this negative self talk and self irritation continues on and on even into the next morning as I step on the scale, not knowing that this one little coffee choice may be forgotten, but has become a building block for the next second, day, year, lifetime.
Sounds a little over-dramatic that a cup of coffee could set your life on spin but how many times do we make a choice, a decision that seemed right in the moment, but find out as life happens that it might not have been the best decision…..but…..oh how we fear intentional change…we fear the unknown. Like the wrong career choice, the bad marriage, the wrong investment, the wrong doctor. These “moment” choices can set our life on a trajectory of angst, hardship, anger or mental self abuse? When, actually, in any moment, we can make a different choice. Life doesn’t happen to us…We choose in each moment and each breath! We can step back and ask ourselves….hmmmm, “How is that working for me?” and then make a change, or a different choice by ordering the planned regular decaf brew!
The way we view our life is one drama after another drama or a sitcom after sitcom or an entire How-to HGTV day perhaps seeing other colors to use as our background. The choices and decisions are ours to make. In my life I have lived many stories. I’ve told myself and edited narratives while identifying with each story while also including play by play -free of charge- to anyone who would listen. It’s not an easy habit to break, but I realized that I created the monsters and the beauty of realization is that as soon as I “open my eyes” the monsters disappear. Until I actually believe they are real, they do not belong to me!
“February 21. If I had experienced different things, I would have different things to say.
So often, I have felt troubled and guilty bearing witness to my pain, and yet, not to make things worse. Somehow, in saying just what Mother had done in her cruel need to be the center, or just what Father couldn’t do out of his fear of facing my mother; somehow, telling the truth as I know it makes me feel like a bad person – as if I’m making my pain up, as if I’m hurting others by saying bad things about them.
But the unshakable bottom of all this is that I’m not making things up. If I have unkind things to say, its because I’ve experienced unkind things. And so, my only guide in this witnessing is to be accurate and honest. While I am not a victim, I didn’t ask for certain shaping experiences to happen to me. I didn’t ask to be slapped or ridiculed as a boy or to be mistreated by lifelong friends later in life. In truth, If I had experienced different things, I would have different things to say.
What is most healing about bearing witness to things exactly as they are, including my own part in my pain, is that when the voice of the pain fits the pain, there is no room for distortion or illusion. In this way, truth becomes a clean bandage that heals, keeping dirt out of the wound.
To voice things as they are is the nearest medicine.”
I call it working knowledge…all of the encounters, judgements, observations and a lifetime of the resulting lessons that I draw from over this lifetime aid me in traversing through this human experience as I navigate the cube I live in.
I choose the word CUBE here…like ice cube. Throw an ice cube in a glass of warm water…it eventually melts into something else….liquid form…but while in the glass together with other cubes, we trust and rely on each other’s energy to sustain life as an ice cube a little longer. Eventually though, we morph into another form…water….liquid…we have no idea where or how our journey continues… nor do we have any control….in that moment, we are BEING an INFINITE drop of energy….a drop of water.