I feel exhausted right now, fed up, lonely, sad and bored. There! Sometimes it just needs to be said if it is present. I don’t actually want to feel like this, and often I resist fully facing what is present if it is painful and not what I want. It is as if admitting it will make it more real. The mistaken belief is that maybe if its not named and even denied then it will leave again quickly..as if it was never here. Brush and hush it away, shhhh shhhhh.
The truth is (for me anyway) that all of it is there all the time to some degree, the sadness, pain, boredom, fear, loneliness along with all the bliss, joy and peace goodies. I can find practically any feeling inside me at any point, and these feelings rise and fall and appear and disappear, quite naturally throughout each day. This is something that is taking awhile to get my head around.
To navigate through this, I realise that all I have to do is not to resist and not to attach to any feeling. Not to try and get the painful ones to go away and not to try and get the positive ones to last longer.
I see that I don’t actually eliminate sadness, boredom, anger, irritation, fear. The darkness doesn’t seem disappear, I just seem to rise above it, and then barely notice it. I have become so used to being fairly chilled out all the time, that when a strong emotion arises, I sometimes try and deny that it is present. I try and protect myself from the pain.
This sets up an inner dissonance and tension. There is an illusion to be defended. It feels uncomfortable inside, and my heart is not at ease. The feeling tugs away anyway, it wants acknowledgement and then released. Without acknowledgement, it will become more insistent. As soon as I turn and face the feeling and say ‘Hello anxiety, I acknowledge you’, something inside deeply relaxes. I give myself permission to feel it all.
It perfectly healthy to feel all our feelings in my experience. To traverse the experience of them through each day, allowing them to arise and then letting go over and over and over. There is a stability in this. A stability that allows for change within it. The alternative is to resist and to become more and more wound up like a spring, and that is stressful. We can’t let go of feelings if we don’t acknowledge them and insight cannot arise if we are not facing each and every experience just simply as it is.
While of course I am hugely appreciative of what I have, I am also feeling pretty exhausted by the relentless nature of running a fairly large business on my own. The constant decisions, and the responsibility of it all. Not having anyone around me to chat through things means I am more on my own with it these days than ever. I am also aware that the dog brought daily fun affection and I got lots of touch needs met and kisses too. And adventures in the park which got me to ‘change channel’ regularly.The latest setbacks and illnesses have further strained my inner resources. I need to look after myself here as mys support system has been reduced recently.
So, do I have a self care plan of action?
Yes I do, time to pull out some tools from the toolbox
- realise that difficult times come and go, and I can accept rather than resist them
- tune into that still place that exists no matter what is being experienced, and short moments many times a day to zone into that still place
- I can sit with more gentleness towards myself during hard times.
- I am going for a ride on my bike through the park this afternoon, get some wind in my hair and feel the speed, and switch channels for a bit and get some valuable exercise
- I have set up my mindfulness cushion in the living room, maybe I will use it!
- Listening to the very supportive Tara Brach (this is her latest one on spiritual reparenting)
- after my cycle I will sort the large pile of accumulating paperwork, unwrapped xmas present that has been weighing me down. Need to write a to do list.
- encourage myself with a pat on the back for managing
Later- I cycled 5 miles right round the woods in the park and back, felt the wind in my hair, got exhausted, had rests, chatted to some fellow cyclists, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. And I feel happy that I was good to myself by exercising 🙂