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!
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!
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.
Recognizing the emotion. I remember myself and my history as having 3 recognizable emotions and I knew what to do with them…Sob/cry, let it all out laugh, and that feeling in my forehead of rage which I would not normally let out. Everything else (the initial build up) just felt like discomfort…and most of the time I was able to distract myself from that feeling by eating…yes eating….that always felt good….
It wasn’t until I learned and started applying “new thought” “Unity” principles to change the way I think that I began to notice the uneasiness that normally preceded one of the described emotions. The little tickle of laughter as I began to smile was easy because I could belt out a loud laugh that could be heard round the world (it used to embarrass me because it was loud). Second came recognizing the irritation and anger….that was also easy because I carried it around so often and for so long before it burst….but the uneasiness that would make me cry…that was different.
The uneasiness of violence (perhaps because of my mother and the yardstick), witnessing sadness in my beloveds and the world, witnessing murder and death of animals (this is actually the most difficult for me). This uneasiness I felt this morning watching the geese on the frozen pond and thinking…just stop….it’s time to go where it’s warmer…why won’t you go?
It brought that feeling of fear, uncertainty, grief, this doesn’t feel right to my heart. I snapped this picture, stepped back and was grateful that I was actually able to identify the feeling/emotion so that I could stand with it a moment and release it rather than letting it be the first block in the tower of emotional blocks that could/would stack up in my day until I burst free with sobbing, laughing or screaming about something that had nothing to do with anything!
If you are doing the work…working through habits and emotions…you are not alone….sometimes feelings hurt but ignoring them does not make them go away. Eventually they burst forward!
The good news is I’m starting to understand…understanding my little habits and attachments that eventually cause me pain and negativity and dis-ease. Actually I feel like this is a big step in the big picture of my life in the 6th decade… Just because I learned it as a child…perfected it as an adult and continue just mindlessly riding the wave …. does not mean I cannot change my thinking, my attitude, my habits!
So the Way I see this is it’s all me…it’s all my choices….its all the difference in my thinking…or lack of thinking. I either live life big and in the moment or I continue doing what I have been doing while lamenting the unfairness of life.
and I must say that once again I have been pulled into memes on social media including those that I just liked but did not take the time to check sources….but I decided to use this even though apparently Albert Einstein did not say it….its a mantra I have been rolling with for a couple years now and in my mind, it actually says everything that needs to be said.
It seems I may have dumped a lot of something in my dream state last night…I woke up recognizing a clarity I have not had for the last few weeks…it’s not like I haven’t realized where my irritation, anger, judgement, hopelessness, and fear were percolating from…but, quite frankly, the more I rationalized and gave my thoughts a safe place to “think” the more miserable I was….and I knew it…I knew what was going on.
I don’t know if Albert Einstein actually said this but this life changing phrase was shared from someone’s consciousness and I am grateful!
A few years ago, I took a wild kinda route to changing my experience. I packed up and moved from everything I had ever known. I recognized I was circling the drain physically, mentally and spiritually a few years ago….and I also knew that if I continued struggling my way to air every single day…trying to make the same thinking work in a different way, I would succumb to becoming a lonely bitter old woman with negative, joyless and angry thought patterns just like my mother taught me. My breaking the glass to escape moment was not easy but I believe it was much easier than daily doing and thinking the same hateful, destructive thoughts. Fear of doing nothing finally became the worst possible life scenario.
If we are strong enough to get outside our head and breathe where we are planted….that does seem like the most comfortable route…but often that is not possible. The knowing is within…the solution is there and We know what the solution is….but the remedy of kicking away the blocks, of changing from the inside out can be daunting….until you know in that second that there really are no rules except of our own making and those rules manifest from fear that keeps us locked in and locked down.
I woke up this morning thinking…okay…it’s Friday whew. With my first cup of coffee I contemplated why the Friday relief seemed to mean something to me…I am a retired woman with virtually stress free days. By the second cup of coffee, my subconscious apparently had the time to answer the question…I’m still running on rules and schedules that I either adopted, inherited or expected of myself for 65 years prior to today….and
The big and….if I don’t make the choice to change that thinking, I will live out my life thinking…ahhh Monday a new start (what can go wrong) until Friday (whew glad that nightmare is over).
From the inner work I’ve been doing, I know that just realizing the error of my ways and deciding it’s time for change does not mean that Monday I will wake up “healed”not even realizing it is Monday while experiencing the day only each moment in its moment. Chances are without practicing this “in the moment consciousness”, I’m likely to be controlled by the future… in an hour, tonight, next Tuesday…and the past…can’t do that remember what happened last time! It takes practice to bring myself back to the present each time I recognize I’ve stepped back on the craziness treadmill!
Then I read the daily word. Dailyword.com
The second paragraph got me!
Divine order holds everything together, even that which appears chaotic or without reason. I may not be able to see the entire picture, but I TRUST THE STRUCTURE THAT UNDERGIRDS ALL LIFE. When I behold this symmetry in my life and in the world, I feel the comfort and security in divine order.
I don’t like where I live right now. For the most part I didn’t like where I lived before I moved here. There is an important unveiling happening in my soul as I put together this information this morning.
On a trip back to old home last week I was healed. There was comfort. I went to a concert in a beautiful outdoor setting beside a cornfield in Iowa. The venue is a local winery. The local cover band, Slipstream (that we have been following for many years) ALWAYS raises my spirits…with a mixture of their talent, the music they play and the energy they offer their audience to soak in. This time was especially perfect because I was surrounded by 3 of the 4 girlfriends who have been the love and emotional “tag team” in my life.
Returning to the place I now call home was kind of a downer…well, and a mild hangover from wine and pure joy. After a good night of sleep I woke this morning with a neon light flashing…ok…I get it….
It’s not the place I store my stuff, buy my groceries and pay my utility bills that is the real me. It is all in my heart where I feel my pain/dissatisfaction or love and joy…it’s the place in my soul where I release my expectations and irritations. It’s in me, it surrounds me, it is me just being. It’s not “adopting” the hatred, meanness and dysfunction. It’s recognizing what I don’t want to own and allow it to pass through…it’s all up to me to keep an open heart and release those fears and expectations of my personality which I have learned so well in 6 decades. I am here, I am free, I am.
While standing in the spray paint aisle today, I heard the old man coming before I saw him. Significantly overweight, puffing out with each breath, perspiring and a two pack a day deep cough and of course, no mask. My irritation was well learned and the thought I had was 1] that had better not be a COVID cough you old expletive and 2) do you have any idea how close to death you sound. I make no excuses for my thoughts. They were my thoughts and I own them.
As he moved to the checkout, he immediately started huffing and bitching about the cost of whatever he was buying and then the famous words…Thanks, Biden.
As I moved closer to the checkout counter with my paint, he started berating the polite and clean cut teenage male clerk because he didn’t like the size of plastic bag he was being offered. The conversation proceeded with this story’s young hero offering the old man a much smaller bag to which the old guy began to aggressively shake the now-filled bag … telling the young hero that he could get even more items in this small bag….SEEEE!
As the old man exited the store, I approached the counter with my two cans of paint and dishwashing brush and politely told the young clerk that it wasn’t important to me which bag he chose and then I shook my head signaling I thought the previous customer’s picture was in the dictionary beside the word ass!
The sweet hero in this story grinned at me…and said it’s ok. He was having a bad day….we didn’t have what he was looking for when he first came in!
The comment speaks for itself. I chose not to say anything else to the young, kind clerk. He knows who he is and I am honored we crossed paths today!