Saturday, April 13, 2013
Ate, Prayed, Loved....Now what?
Do you have the same problem I have? It is a particular problem I have always had with being the bearer of bad news. Or less than positive news. Or something you know you have to tell someone that you know is going to upset them. Or giving someone your honest opinion even when you know it is not what they want to hear. I really struggle with this.
Over the last few years, it seems I have had to do this on a regular basis. One would think that with continual practice, it might get easier and I suppose in a way it does, but it is never really easy. Some are worse than others. "I don't want to be married to you anymore." THE worst. " I am quitting." (a job) "I won't be re-signing my lease, sorry."
Then there are the disappointing things you have to admit to yourself. "I did not succeed." "I can be judgemental." "I am an imperfect being." "I can be lazy." "I can be selfish." "I am impatient." "I weigh ... WHAT?" "Am I a good enough mother?" "Could I be a better mother/daughter/partner/friend?"
The lead up to these revelations and announcements are perhaps worse than the actual words that are uttered. The fear of the reaction. The fear of your own reaction. The fear of the consequence. That's a lot of fear. It has been said that we are only motivated by two things in life - fear and love. Think about that. Hard to argue with, ain't it? We fear so many things. Rejection. Humiliation. Embarrassment. Poverty. Loneliness. Change. The list goes on. We want to be accepted, loved, liked, appreciated, needed, wanted, desired. If we do this or do that or say this or say that, what is at risk?
So, we put off the truths. We ignore the voice in our head that is always there. There are times when that voice gets louder and times when we can barely hear it. The denial of the voice is where many of us spend the most time. Suppressing the voice takes many forms. We bury it with distractions like over-work, alcohol, over-eating, over-scheduling, obsessive compulsions, mindless television watching, over-exercise, drugs - you name it, we avoid it with something. That numbing can go on for years or even forever. But, the crazy thing is, the voice never goes away. It is always there if we allow ourselves to be conscious.
Being conscious and remaining conscious is kind of like losing weight and maintaining the weight loss. The latter part is always the most difficult. It is a practice. One that you can't just expect to happen without effort. It is not easy. By the time we finally perfect the practice, we are old. That is if we ever get there at all. Surely the reason that the words "wise" and "old" are always strung together; comfortable like two peas in a pod. There are some exceptions to this - the occasional souls who figure it all out when they are young but generally speaking, the road to conscious living takes longer for the average person.
One example in my own life has been the number of years I have been ignoring the voice that keeps telling me I would benefit from a meditation practice. I have stubbornly fought this voice for as long as I can remember. I had a teacher in high school who recommended it. He was my definition of the coolest teacher ever. He was young, a recent teacher's college graduate and he wore his hair a bit long and he taught Man in Society and World Religions. He also taught an Astrology course at the night school level and I enrolled in that course out of curiosity and my school girl crush on him. He also meditated regularly. How cool was that? I wanted to be like him. Wise like him. So, I joined a yoga class and I tried to meditate. But at 17 and 18, I was more interested in being "awake" in other ways. It seemed boring and slow to me. If I was going to move my body, it best be vigorously and slowing my mind - well that was near impossible. I put yoga and meditation in the mental pile with golf and crosswords - something I could do when I retired.
Over the years, I have made several attempts to re-visit this, but still found it too difficult. Too time-consuming. Too slow. Too boring. Too hippy-dippy. Too, too, too something. Yet, the voice keeps nagging me. It just won't go away. I know I need to listen now. I do feel it is time. So, I am making a plan to start. This summer, surrounded by the beauty of beautiful British Columbia, I am going to take the time and the amazing opportunity I will have to finally begin what will hopefully become a life-long practice.
Amen - or rather Ohhhmmmmm to that!