For instance, on the drive I listened to Byron Katie's "I Need Your Love - Is That True?: How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead". I enjoy Byron Katie because she, like don Miguel Ruiz does with Toltec wisdom and shamanism, challenges the reader to question the thoughts and beliefs they hold, especially while in depression or misery.The point of the book was to bring awareness to the false beliefs we hold and the witnesses we seek to prove that we are not worthy of love or attention. Her idea, the same as A Course in Miracles, is that the love and attention is already and always there, but these thoughts and beliefs cloud over it. She asked that we hold space to recognize what we do or think in particular to find more reasons to misery-filled.
Saturday morning, I went to a meditation group I recently discovered, quite accidentally/coincidentally, through an international journal on yoga and spirituality. The group meets only minutes from Gentleman Jack's house so it's a perfect opportunity for me to continue my practice of awareness and centering even while visiting my man. The meditation was difficult for me. Sitting still with my thoughts and surrounded by others who practice often, I felt like a child who was misbehaving. I couldn't, for the life of me, get past the feeling of wanting to move or talk or even yell out loud. Ironically, the meditation and subsequent morning chat with the other participants left me feeling really good for the rest of the day. It is obviously something I need to do more often. If only to create space in my mind to allow some quiet time.
On the drive home, I listened to Pema Chodron's Getting Unstuck. I've said it before, Pema rocks. She has to be the most down to earth Buddhist nun. I could listen to her speak all day - she's that REAL. This book was yet another reminder of the things that arise in our minds to block us from our natural inheritance of "good". She referred to a tightening that occurs when something triggers us. First a tightening, then a feeling and a reaction. She asked that we find an awareness of the tightening so as to practice a different reaction or thought pattern to follow. Her advice? Find a space between the trigger and the tightening.
"It is a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately filling up the space."
~ Pema Chodron
LOTS of reminders to be aware and attempt to find space, right? Allow. And I was feeling REALLY good about it. Peaceful, calm, accepting.
Until BAM! On the drive home, I stopped to pick up my children from my ex-husband's house.... and was face to face with a "trigger" for lack of a better word... his fiancee. She hates me. I know it. I feel like she hates me and my children are a pain in her behind.... and I can feel the tightening and the emotions. I'm aware of this thought pattern and my reaction.... to call my ex and cry and complain and get angry. All the while I'm aware that I'm doing this. I'm aware that I could be wrong. I could be looking for proof that she is this person because, after all, it seems easy to find from this space of wanting to be liked by her and fear of what sort of mother she will be to my children.
I'm sitting with this feeling. I've vented to my ex-husband (who was left speechless and wishes to discuss it later) and now I'm allowing a teeny tiny space for this tightness, feeling and thought to be wrong.
I choose to be open to a different experience altogether. After all, what good does it serve for me, my ex, the kids or the ex's fiancee for me to be right?
I'm learning to accept where I am, in this place of wrongness or rightness or whatever-ness I'm feeling. It's rather liberating to know that it's perfectly spiritually normal to react, long for love, want to misbehave, scream or run like a screaming banshee through everyone's fluffy meditation pillows. It gives me free reign to feel what I want to feel with an awareness (there's that word again!) of when I'd like to feel something differently... and to allow space for that.
We'll see what happens.