Monday, May 9, 2011
"Sometimes, I admit, I laugh a little in my head at how seriously you take yourself. At how hard you TRY, when you only need to BE. "
--One of my readers in response to my post "YTTP!"
Friday and Saturday of last week were some of "those" days....the ones that make you want to crawl under the covers and never come out.
I don't know if it was the weather (Wednesday was a lovely day, followed by two more days of the usual - cold, rainy, gray), the lack of sleep (I stayed up WAY too late Friday night watching bad TV), or just my biorhythms (it seems like these days come around once in awhile no matter what I do), but I was in a serious FUNK.
Life seemed too hard for words, nothing was going my way and there were disappointments at every turn.
Saturday morning before work I asked my husband to make me a smoothie. I got ready for work and when I came out into the kitchen my smoothie was all ready, "to go" cup and all. Except....
My husband is known for his experimental cooking. He puts apples in his chili, Marmite on his peanut butter sandwiches, and ketchup and relish on pretty much anything. Nothing pleases him more than coming up with an odd concoction of foods that (in his opinion anyway) works well together.
I am decidedly NOT of this ilk. I like things the way I like them, the way they have always been, the way they were MEANT to be. That includes my smoothies. I make one every morning, the same way, varying only the kind of frozen fruit I add in at the end. I am Sally to his Harry for sure.
So imagine my surprise when I took a drink of my smoothie and tasted something.....different.
I opened the lid and, sure enough, there were little specks of something white in my smoothie. "What are these?" I asked in a somewhat shrill voice. "Cashews," he replied, with a little glee in his tone. "I thought you might like something a little different."
Different was the very opposite of what I wanted on this particular morning. What I wanted was one damn thing to go my way, to be how I wanted it to be, not to disappoint me.
I started down the road of, "How could you?! WTF?!" but I didn't really want to go there and besides, I had to get to work. So I kissed everyone - yes, even HIM - and left the house.
On my way to work I started to go off again, "Can't he just....All I wanted was ....WHY? WHY? WHY?" And then I stopped myself.
This wasn't helping, this wasn't changing the dynamic of the past couple of days, this was just continuing down the same road.
So I stopped complaining and started feeling.
I just felt the disappointment of the cashew smoothie and the past few days as much as I could. I felt it in my gut, and in my back and in my heart.
It's so funny to me how when something comes up for us our chakras just light up with feeling and how we try and push those feelings away with anger and denial and turning our backs on each other and on ourselves.
By the time I got to work I was feeling better and after another few minutes I was able to text my husband, "I'm over it. Thanks for the smoothie."
To which he graciously replied, "I'm sorry....I should have known better....I was trying to give you some extra lovin'. Problem is I was loving you the way I like to be loved, not the way you do." (For a great book on this phenomenon among couples, read the book, "Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples )
On the way home from work I was reflecting on the past couple of days and trying to figure out just what had happened, why I had been experiencing disappointment on such a grand scale (keeping in mind that I am fully aware on some level how very PRIVILEGED I am).
That's when I thought back to this comment from a reader and had my "Ah-ha" moment for the day.
Somehow in those two days I had fallen completely out of the present and into my crazy mind. I was back to doing what I had always done TRYING, TRYING, TRYING.
Trying to be perfect, trying to make things go the way I wanted them to or expected them to, trying to be what I thought people wanted me to be and do what I thought people wanted me to do and thinking, thinking, thinking all the time about what that might be and how that might look. I was just THINKING, THINKING, THINKING and TRYING, TRYING, TRYING and it was making me miserable. Not to mention exhausted.
Just BE. Just be here now. Just be in this moment. Just be who you are without thinking or trying or analyzing. Just BE.
I am not sure how something so seemingly simple can be so damn hard, but for some reason it is.
And it occurred to me that what happened that morning was the key to it all. I experienced something unpleasant and my first reaction was to yell, fight, project. It was not to FEEL.
This is what we are taught from a very young age (and what I am afraid my children are learning): Don't feel. "You're all right. It's gonna be okay. Pick yourself up. Put a band aid on it. Have a lolly pop."
This is what we tell our children. We don't tell them to feel; don't allow them to feel. And we certainly don't allow it of ourselves. But feeling is the key. It is the path. It is the way. To freedom, to the present moment and, I believe, to happiness.
Feelings come up all the time, every day, and unless we allow ourselves to feel them and to express them we are destined to be always living in the past, the future, or fantasy land. Anywhere but right where we are. Anywhere but here. And if that is the case, we will always be TRYING and not BEING.
Check out my Wednesday post for a meditation that I am trying to stay in the moment. It's called "Past, Present or Fantasy Island."