Excuse the ramble today but I want to explore some concerns that have been giving me a sense of disquiet recently. The first happened as soon as I awoke today.
I woke up with an expectation to have a great day. Nothing wrong with that of course. I immediately felt a twinge of anxiety when the next thought arrived (and was believed), what if I don’t have a good day and can’t think of anything I want to do? So there is desire for a great day, and an attachment to that desire brought suffering pretty much right away with the thought of not having that desire met.
So I started thinking of how to make it great. Will I go for an overnight up the wild west coast or will I go to the east coast and visit an old friend I would like to see? Maybe neither, as there is the old dog to think of. But the thought of not filling a saturday with something special gives me anxiety too. What about this expanse of time ahead of me, what do I do with that? Then I have the thought that this to some would be a supreme luxury, all this time and no commitments and then I feel a twang of guilt for not appreciating it! See where believing thoughts gets you?! Into a state of ‘concern’.
When we do not expect anything we can be ourselves. That is our way, to live fully in each moment. So for a period of time, each day, try to sit without moving, without expecting anything, as if you were in your last moment.
I have been feeling troubled by another couple of things recently too. Firstly aspects of my behaviour, such as drinking and eating a lot and enjoying it and also not enjoying the results of it which are weight gain and an unclear mind. I have a conflict of goals. I like to enjoy a drink and company and good food, and yet have put on a couple of pounds and I don’t want that. Alcohol is a depressant and I don’t like that either.
Got some lovely close yet boozy friends next door who eat and drink a lot and who invite me though many times a week. I need to find a way of chilling that off without offending them. I like spending time with them, but their lifestyle is at odds with how I like to be, a bit more light on those kinds of pleasures. They eat and drink like I do when I am on holiday.
I feel I am leading myself astray by succumbing to these sorts of pleasures. I know this is a judgement and is quite harsh but it does feel rather gluttonous and indulging in life’s sensory pleasures a bit too much. I suspect that the state of consciousness that is engendered by doing this, (like waking up feeling the effect of alcohol) closes other doors and blunts the inner senses, and these doors I want to open and explore. The door that emptiness is, for example. This wall of boredom that comes, which I would like to navigate. I wonder if the boredom is a symptom of a resistance to the feeling of emptiness that comes with facing infinity?!
I have been removing myself from a lot of old friends this last year and the space was happily filled up with these dear friends. Now I have let it go too far and I am not sure how to deal with it, I guess I will have to just politely say no a bit more often. And it probably means I will have to state my intention of no booze for a while but I don’t want to sound judgemental of them either. Oh. So maybe I say I want to lose weight and am on a diet for a while. That is better.
Recently I have become more distant from another couple of friends too. It is painful as I love them very much but I am enjoying the freedom of not having to fit in with someone’s idea of me in order to make them and me feel comfortable. I find very old friend and family associations difficult in this regard. There are so many unconscious social cues that take place, unsaid rules, expectations to fulfil and I have to pretend a lot that I am in the same ‘place’ as her too which I am not, especially her emphasis on politics. I find myself in conversations about social justice and poverty which I really don’t want to discuss, especially as I have different views on it. And my birthday is coming up and I’m going out with different people and not inviting her which I also feel anxiety about, havnt told her yet. ohhhhh.
The other friend M is also one I am very fond of and close to but historically it is always me that contacts him, well 95% of the time. I know sometimes friendships work like that, with one person making most of the effort. But this no longer works for me, well actually has never really worked for me. The situation makes me feel that I want to see him more than he wants to see me. It is not balanced.
I know this guy has ‘issues’ from being adopted and with rejection, but I just don’t feel like bending around that any more. I used to contact him a few times a week for a walk and have stopped and there is has been no contact from him. I am feeling it though, I miss him. Maybe it just means he doesn’t want the friendship, and I have to accept that. The dissolution of this one has been a long time coming actually, years, and I have resisted it because I am so fond of him and we have such great conversations.
That brings me to another difficulty I am having with this path. It is so solitary! And yet I wander off to the park and end up meeting strangers and having wonderful little interactions. I am not entirely solitary but I do miss having a buddy to hang out with like M. I suppose that is why people have husbands! Do I want a husband? mmmm not right now.
The final thing and by no means least is the decline in health of my lovely dog. She is a 12 year old german shepherd and is becoming less and less mobile and her hearing and sight are declining too. This morning came though to say hello to me in bed before peeing all over the floor. Luckily it was on floorboards and not a carpet but this is happening more often. So it’s a major clean up job as the pee goes through the floorboards! Sigh. And she feels bad too. Somehow she has stopped asking out when she needs to pee. Just old age I guess. That is another element stopping me hopping off somewhere today, the amount of time she would have to spend in the car. Last weekend she was sick and had to sit in it for an hour till we got back.
Thanks for bearing with me here if you managed to! It is interesting when you focus on concerns how it gives birth to putting attention on more and more concerns. And I haven’t even gone into my work concerns either which is another chapter! Navigating the changes that awakening brings. Needing to let go and not wanting to and feeling the pain of that.
This was from a walk the other day with a good pal.