Living in Echoes

I read something recently, some piece of advice. I can’t for the life of me recall where I saw it and I will have to paraphrase, for I really just have a feel for the meaning as opposed to the words, but it went something like this:

“When we have a memory, particularly a painful one, we tend to live it as it actually just happened, or is happening. We play it out in such a way that we harness the emotions and run around with them which causes the pain to feel as it did when the original event happened. It would serve us better when the memory surfaces (as they always do, there’s no way around that) to let it sit and try to feel for it as a jumping off point to something better.  Instead of it being a portal to pain, remember the benefits that came from it, be they immediate or some time after.”

Ok, so I totally embellished what was probably just a one sentence affirmation, but you get it, right? I mean, who hasn’t ridden that crazy horse time after time?

“Letting it go” isn’t an easy thing to do. You can fling it away but it’ll come back like the ball attached to the bat. You can hide from it, but it will still be there drumming its fingers on the dining room table waiting for you to continue feasting, dejected, on the scraps of the past.SONY DSC

But, what a concept to be able to see the event, the memory, to view it as if it were a screenshot from a movie. The moment your heart broke when he/she called it quits.  The last evening of your beloved restaurant. The day the realtor stuck a For Sale sign in the front yard of the house you could no longer afford to keep. Anything like that, any hurt moment…grab it and face it, look at it, don’t run, don’t hide.

Then know where you are right now, who you are, and how far you have journeyed from that moment.

Getting caught in echoes from the past is the easiest, least resistant thing we can do.  If you want to prolong hurt and anger in order to keep searching for answers, or to fool yourself into thinking that there must still be work done before the pain goes away, that is your choice.

Wouldn’t it be a more compassionate thing for yourself to see the positive of the now; the benefits of lessons learned, even the most difficult?

Take a deep breath, because those echoes will just keep you in ever decreasing circles, and that’s no life for you to be living.

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Collectively Speaking

So I read another headline (they’re everywhere) with words that serve only to kindle fear, panic, and irrational reactions. By all accounts, the world is in a complete tizzy and it’s coming from all angles and sources; above ground, underground, in the air, from the people, by the people…and on and on.

Imagine this….imagine when we’ve come to a crashing stop for whatever reason. The Earth no longer supports human life or animal life – except maybe the cockroach; it seems pretty hardy. But not mankind. Imagine collectively, the human race’s mind as a light entity drifting up to wherever to face some sort of judgment, to look back, to fully realize the enormity and breadth of its existence; its impact, its awesome power.

I like to think that collectively, mankind might feel remorse and think, oh yeah…the mindful stuff, the Love and Peace stuff.  Huh….maybe we should’ve done that instead.

In that state, I don’t think there is any other way to feel. Above the sphere crammed with bodies, its gravity stuck with its flesh and bone population, it is only then that we certainly, definitely feel peace, love and absolute awareness.

I am a bystander. I observe angry people in their cars, hackles raised, ugly faces, boiling blood reactions.  I read trolls in comments whose only purpose is to stir up hatred and volatility. There was a time when I would have jumped right in with them and had my say; flung criticisms at complete strangers to fuel the anger. I have hopped in my car seat like a hot bean at other drivers, and on more than one occasion informed them of precisely how I felt by way of a finger, or a look, or an aggressive driving maneuver.

Now I am older and wiser.  Not meditating anymore, and often forget to be aware, but the work I’ve done in the last few years has laid a lasting foundation of love, peace, hope, harmony, mindfulness, and ironically, forgetful awareness.

Maybe all who have passed are simply circling the Earth in another realm, all-knowing that there is no deity, no idol. All that exists is pure consciousness and they are biding time until the human race is devoid of that flesh and bone.  Perhaps then, everyone that has ever been in all of humanity, alive and dead, will come together and the light in the Universe will shine so brightly that the darkness mankind created will be revealed.

Perhaps, even now, in the midst of so many crises and horrors, we are gathering knowledge to take with us to another place, in another time, in another dimension, and in another form.

Hopefully we will go there with a better blueprint.

Well done burnt bridge.

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For a long time, I have fought a battle that can never be fully voiced. It can never be laid out on a table for all to see. It is a private war. I have danced around it in my blog, written about hard-won skirmishes, and weary defeats. It’s a sort of thing that I have treated alternately with a delicate hand and a closed fist.

Its presence is exasperating, like an annoying mosquito that won’t quit buzzing around.

No matter what I have done to abolish it (think on it, write about it, fight it, silence it, meditate on it, drink, eat), or didn’t do (let it be, accept it) it has had me chained to a merry-go-round. I, a colorful filly with great stems raised, ready to gallop, but unable to.

Recently, I burned the bridge to the battlefield that I alone had maintained. It was done with confidence, and without intention of returning to the precipice pleading for the link to be restored.

But, the ego is fearful. It knows I am stronger, and it bombards me with thoughts and questions, and the same old worn out lines. The crackled movie on a fading loop starring the old witch opposite Snow White, except my apple gift is dented, and browned.

What is it afraid of? I think on it….and have to laugh a little because I simply don’t know.

I have everything I need inside and out!

It could have been a sad thing to burn that bridge, but by deciding to stop the fight; I am forced to face the truth.

And the truth is acknowledging the dark side of self; specifically emotions such as anger, aversion, and dislike. No more sweet frosting. No more battles. No more black and white, or tussles between good and bad. This is it; the beginning of true healing begins with the belief that negative feelings are as much a part of self as the positive. In this way, the ego has little left to live for, and that’s what it’s afraid of.

Without the dark, there can be no light. And, the more I calmly let in the dark that’s practically barging down my front door, the sooner I will be free of these shackles.

 

 

On Anger.

I guess I have a lot bubbling up this week.  See what happens when my back is turned?  The scab is peeled away, leaving the wound open for me to inspect.  For once I welcome it. After too long a time of pushing down the ugliness that struggled to see the light, I am conscious of an opening up to everything that I have refused to acknowledge.

Anger.  And lots of it.  Hatred, too.  And resentment.  Boiling and roiling and really pissed off on its own that I’ve allowed it to fester; covered up with ineffectual platitudes and verbiage of love and forgiveness and kindness in the hopes that it would seep away in its own time.

In my practice of mindfulness, I led myself to believe that these emotions and thoughts were ‘bad’.  Even though truly I knew that they are part and parcel of the spirit, they are not who I AM, who I really AM.  But I was scared of them.  Frightened by the ferocity, by the lack of grace they represented that I was trying so hard to maintain.

Now I crack open my heart and let the grungy, brown toilet water pour forth.  Let it all out.  Feel it all.  Know it’s okay to feel angry.  Know that it’s okay to think  “I really fucking hate you,” because in so saying and in so admitting, I am freeing myself of these things that have held me down for so long.

It must be said also that even though I do what is needed, none of it is destined to remain.  On the contrary, they are thought and said and released.  Gone, like tainted butterflies crumbling into wispy bits out in the Universe.

No fear now for the words or the emotions.  New space is being created;  an empty mass vacated by truth; replaced with love and light.  This was a task no affirmation nor positive quote could accomplish.  Only until I quit with the sidelong glances and stares away to find the strength to turn inside and face it fully, could I feel this freedom and move closer to my truth.

A New and Deeper Truth
by Kaveri Patel

broken-heart-quotes

the old truth made you
run a thousand miles
inside an arid desert
desperate for an oasis

sit and close your eyes
inhale the breeze of kindness
exhale the toxic judgments
dehydrating you like a prune

feel the pain of old patterns
trapped in tense muscles
it’s ok to cry, to taste
the salt of possibility

just be, just breathe
let waves break against
the silence, returning you
to a new and deeper truth

*******

Riding With The Dog

During the recent spell of distraction, I failed to notice the dog named Ego covertly slip a collar around my neck and take me off for a little trip down memory lane, up angry road, through the woods of confusion and on across the meadow sea of resentment.

Old patterns restitched themselves into familiar places and I bounced around in their quilty arms, thinking thoughts which fed the feelings which led to tears.  And on and on.  And all the while, Ego panted happily beside my floppy, unseeing Self.

I began yoga a week or so ago.  I never thought I could be that kind of person; I’ve tried classes and apps and DVD’s over the years but it felt too strenuous; not enough movement for my restless spirit.  I used to find solace on the crossramp with my legs going a million miles an hour to thumping club music.  These days I have found a peace in running too which admittedly is more like Phoebe-running.  Although I do not enjoy getting out of bed at the obscene hour that I do (thanks to husband for that), I do love the misty morning feel, the dark, the cool, the solitude.  No music.  Just me, just my feet, just breathing.  On the days I don’t run, I do yoga.

During my session this morning, I came into an awareness that I had been dragged along of late.  I had been preoccupied with the film I was helping with and instead of living with my heart open and being conscious of thought and of love and space, I had retreated to my old ways.  Certain situations that I know will take years to sit comfortably with, rose up and roared.   I did not fight them, I didn’t observe and let them be.  I ignored them.  And in that rejection, they bred.

Ego yelped when I opened my eyes this morning and stopped; he was still galloping with destinations dark and thorny for me but I took off the collar, wagged my finger at him and turned away.

Ego, exasperated, would say, “how many times do I have to do this?  This back and forth with awareness?” and the answer, with an equal amount of displeasure, would be “who the hell knows?” but that would get me nowhere.

I understand fully that this is what the journey is about.

It’s about the opening and closing of the heart, the learning and learning, the turning away and being sucked into old mental pathways followed by the returning to the self.  The loving openness of each return which holds no judgement or harsh feelings.  And, of being able to sit with whatever is going on, be it joyful or painful.

Tara Brach has said that there is beauty in a heart that is ready for everything.