Paddling round the edges of hell this morning. I am being mentally assaulted and pounded by desires to turn away from this solo path, and return to a normal smoking drinking eating socialising life, get myself a husband, and be surrounded by family and friends, feasting and chatting and being in company. It’s nonsense talk of course, and not even all that attractive. But this self imposed exile is hard at times. Thoughts of self criticism are coming, doubting my decision to really follow through on this pathless path. That letting go of friends was a bad idea. Oh and thoughts suggesting I’m alone because nobody likes, never mind loves me, and that’s because I’m not a lovable type of person! You’re a loser, you’re useless, you’re worthless, you’re lost, your life is pointless. So many diverse negatives from different angles at me. Bit a few of my nails right down again too.
Yes, back into the stormy sea, and once again it comes right after a sublime experience of tranquility and stability, as I described yesterday. Rest, test, rest, test. Well not really test. Relaxing deeply into awarenesss as I did yesterday, it allows everything in me that thinks it is separate to arise. And the ego is sure feeling jittery as this resting in awareness takes a hold.
Going to France, I wonder if it is partly me just wanting to be normal, and entertained and distracted. That’s not a sin of course! It is however contrary to my goal of a more spartan simple healthy life and saving money for a house. I’d like to buy a place in the country, which I can set up as a bit of an alternative b&b. A sangha of sorts, a refuge. Maybe a direction is forming.
I was moderate with food and wine when I was away, but I still put on 4 pounds in weight. How little it takes and what a very small amount of food I need each day. It’s disappointing to say goodbye to another fun indulgence!
So now back here in Scotland, I return to my discipline of delicious low carb Chinese soups and woodland walks. I went swimming as usual today. But I was mid mahamara onslaught. I took my attention to the sensations and the body, but had to keep doing it over and over and over, as the mental assault of desires and regrets was on me even as I swam. Did not relax completely into the moments, too much agitation going on.
I was and I am watching what is going on inside.
Tenderly and with care I turn towards the something in me that seems to want to be hurting, that asks for pain to be felt. It’s peculiar to look at that. Reframing it, it’s the old upper limit problem again. Go beyond the limit of health, wealth and happiness part of me believes I deserve, and self sabotage steps in to ‘help’ keep things under control. My family didn’t do happiness very well, so it makes me nervous. They didn’t do close harmonious relationships well and so that makes me nervous too. This is deep and painful to be with. I see how it has led to a mistrusting of peace and stability. The mind thinks there is danger round every corner. I need to be more vigilant it says, not more relaxed. At least when pain is present I can see it, and it’s not going to come unexpectedly to spoil the happiness. This is is the mind’s talk. I’m just watching and waiting this out. A Compassion embrace for us all.
I visited a friend in a care home yesterday, the one who is paralysed from the neck down after an accident. It touched me deeply. In this seemingly awful situation he is managing to find his joy after being in depression and shock, he has found a way through it. He joked and smiled and chatted. Such strength and courage. Such a teacher. Beautiful and humbling.
Dawn this morning out the window.