When things are shaky and nothing is working,
we might realize that we are on the verge of something.
We might realize that this is a very vulnerable and tender place,
and that tenderness can go either way.
We can shut down and feel resentful
or we can touch in on that throbbing quality.”
― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart:
Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times
It has been a while since I have put pen to paper. It may be that I have been:
- in the midst of seasonal change
- confused (When someone I’m close to is struggling, I’m not sure how to stay in my own stuff.)
It is possible that the scattered and distracted energy I have been experiencing is more or less on purpose. If I’m scattered, then I don’t have to focus on what is really going on inside or around me. If I’m distracted – by tasks, urgent emails and phone calls, silly addictive computer games, and so on – then I can stay somewhat numb. After one is substance-free, food isn’t the only thing we can use to numb out!
So today, in this lovely fall weather, in the quiet and somewhat solitary journey I find myself on – instead of being distracted, busy, confused, I’m just hanging out with myself. When painful thoughts or feelings arise, instead of slamming them down like those little whack-a-mole, pop-up games in the arcade, I’m trying to soften into them.
Having compassion for ourselves sometimes means stopping completely when we’ve been going full-tilt on our favorite numbing behaviors. Sometimes seated meditation is just sitting still and breathing – allowing what we feel to be there without running from it.
Can I love and accept everything that bubbles up inside and just let it be? Gently sitting with ourselves with the same unconditional acceptance that we find for others is often the most powerful therapy we can experience.
I know about this. I’m sitting here meeting each temper tantrum, screaming fear with love…and it is the most peaceful I have been in weeks (or months).
Welcome autumn. Let the leaves fall. I’m just going to observe them them and maybe even find some beauty in the process.