I got home from Les Miserables earlier, mind swimming with thoughts of redemption and the saving grace of kindness and I thought how much better would the world be if we replaced negativity with love?
To love another personMy girlfriend leaned over halfway through the movie and whispered, while wiping her eyes, "Why are we the only ones crying in here??" and I snort-laughed through tears.
Is to see the face of God.
When I got home I was feeling very... full? I wanted to be still.
1. Clear a space inside yourself and sit there. Move everything to the side to make room for yourself and get cozy.
2. Now ask yourself, "How do I feel? Why don't I feel wonderful right now? What is bugging me on this particular day?"
3. List the things that are making you tense. Don't get snagged on any one problem, but let them all come out: big ones, trivial ones, list them mentally. Stay cheerfully detached from them. Say, "Except for these, I am fine." Maybe it's an awful list, but that is all.
4. Ask which problem feels the worst right now. Which one hurts the most, feels the heaviest, is the biggest, sharpest, most prickly, clammy or sticky -- the one that feels bad in whatever way you and your body feel bad.
Now, don't go inside the problem as you usually would. Stand back from it and see how it makes you feel in your body when you think of it for a moment. What does this whole problem feel like? Your mind will intervene with commentary but let all that noise pass and get to the sensations underneath. Do you feel tense? Constricted? Shaky? What is the physical sensation that appears when you think of this big thing?
5. Once you identify the physical sensation, there will be a slight sense of relaxation, as the body recognizes it is being heard. Ask and play around with describing your sensations until you feel this shift, then you will know you identified it.
6. Ask yourself, "What is it about this whole problem that makes me feel so [shaky/constricted/tense/etc.]? What is the worst of this? What would it take for this to be okay?"
Ask these questions like you are asking another person and wait patiently for the answers. When you connect with what is truly being felt deep inside, you will feel another sense of relaxation in your body.Usually I meditate before bedtime, but not like that. That was new. Instead I do a purging type of meditation, where I get into my favorite cozy position, draw the covers snug around me, close my eyes and open the flood gates from the day's activities -- this is the processing part. I let thoughts flow out and watch my closed lids like a movie screen, everything flashing by with no attachment, no emotion. After about 5 minutes, it begins to slow. The sense of peace and relaxation is stupendous, and I almost always fall into a deep slumber afterwards.
7. Receive the information. Don't rationalize it away (like "I shouldn't be feeling that!") -- just let it be. The only path to true relief is honesty. Once you identify what you're truly feeling, sit with it. You can leave and return later and think about logistics and how to address this thing that you identified, but for now, just acknowledge it.
But during the past week, I'd been struggling and it's been wearing on me.
What I realized, if I am going to be honest with myself:
1. I'm feeling a little miffed at The Cyclist, I want more support right now. He's not being a jerk about it, he's just... not there. I thought he would be, but he isn't, at least not anymore. It hurts. He will go away and I will always have the memory of bearing this burden alone for the rest of my life. It feels unfair.
2. I have to mourn more losses now. And I am starting to accept that there is a loss either way, and will always have that loss. The logical part of me will rise above it so I won't dwell on it, but I would be lying if I did not admit that it will be woven in the fabric of my being and forever be a part of me.
3. I am feeling ashamed of what I'm going through right now. And I am hesitating reaching out but I need people to be there for me right now, I cannot handle this on my own. :(
4. All the stuff happening now has woken in me the sense that I am treading water -- I think about giving back to society but I haven't DONE much, at least not on a large scale. I do it in small ways -- I recently hired someone I saw struggling and now I am mentoring them and another person. It's what I know how to do. Teach a man to fish... you know. I grew up watching my dad offers gifts of knowledge, skill and empowerment through work and now I am trying to do the same.
And some friends have reached out to me because of this shitty little blog, saying my honesty and vulnerabililty helped them, and that helped me too. And I donate to charities.
But I could do more.
You know that scene in Schindler's List where he is crying at the end, taking off his rings saying "I could have saved another person with this, I could have, I could have..." and regrets not doing more? I feel like that. I don't want to live a hedonistic life where I meet only my own needs. I want to make the world a better place.