This is normally a place of comfort for me. In part due to my insatiable taste for not feeling enough, but also because I know this is an area for growth, and oh that lustful feeling of being better than I once was. Wait a minute…
The opportunities for growth have continued to present themselves over the past few weeks, and to spare you the details, I’m going to do my best to summarize what I'm learning.
One of my glaring messages this timeframe has been that I make mistakes. This is pretty acceptable for most people, but I’m usually right. The work I’ve been doing the last 5 years has led me to working on nothing but grace for myself and others; putting the judge to rest.
I did something to loosely appease what I needed in the moment, because Blondie (the name for my ego) knows best, instead of truly turning in and asking what I needed to do. I’d been under an immense amount of stress, the most recent of which had caused me to throw my back, so it was beginning to manifest itself physically. I didn’t think I could handle anything else.
Instead of a situation being the thing I couldn’t handle (external circumstance) it was the mind out of control to the point of latching on to the unforgiving patterns I’m continuing to course correct (internal process). How could I practice 8 years of mindfulness and be back in this place?
It’s all about awareness. So I took my disturbing thoughts, the kind where I can witness myself starting to run down the crazy railroad, and meditated on them. John and I got busy painting our son’s room, which allowed us to be distracted and creative; a gift in the middle of our chaos.
By process of slowing down, I got more and more clear on what I needed to do to redirect. I’m reading ‘In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts’ by Dr. Gabor Mate’ on addiction, and it’s providing so much detail around how our brain processes addictive patterns.
One thing he notes on meditation and mindfulness, “To pursue such practices, one requires mental resources, a commitment to emotional clarity, an access to teaching, and some mental space in one’s life. They are also difficult, especially at the beginning. But for people whose lives are blighted by addictions without being totally gripped by them, these practices can help light the way to wholeness.”
I read mental space in one’s life and laughed. I’m definitely doing this work without that, or carving it out somehow in this blessed life of 3 kids, a husband and a small business in the middle of a pandemic. Not the point, but I do think it’s important to recognize the benefits of a mindfulness practice to course correct, and that it requires support from a number of areas.
Mate’s quote below inspired me to write about coming together as community to work as a unified human race in the pursuit of evolution. Recent events started my journey with this by turning inward. A little bit of humility offers a place to reflect, and a whole lot of grace eases that path.
When we start to look outward in judgement, we have an opportunity to see how that’s a mirror reflecting back to us. The more love we can bring to this process, the more loving our world will become.
Gabor Mate’ on reading opposing political articles for purpose:
“I can tell myself that we’re different. Moral judgments, however, are never about the obvious: they always speak to the underlying similarities between the judge and the condemned. My judgments of others are an accurate gauge of how, beneath the surface, I feel about myself. It’s the only willful blindness in me that condemns others for deluding themselves; my own selfishness that excoriates others for being self-serving; my lack of authenticity that judges falsehood in others. It is the same, I believe, for all moral judgments people cast on each other and for all vehemently held communal judgments a society visits upon its members.”