So often, I've found myself in a power struggle, seeking to control life itself, other people, situations, etc. because I want things to go my way. Sound familiar? Inevitably, that puts me in someone else's business: trying to change someone else, playing a god, and inevitably it leads me to feeling disappointed, wanting what is not available and feeling discouraged because of it. The argument with reality is tough, and it seems my mind (my ego) wants to attach to power and control anyway. It's having fun, but not the me that knows there's a different way. That's why I do The Work...because there is a different way, and it is peaceful - because The Work works. I sit with my mind, my ego joins of course (it loves to be part of everything), my heart opens up to it all, and we question the thoughts that would keep me thinking I need to control something to go my way. And then I see I don't need to control anything, and that my way may not be in my best interest after all.
I worked with a client who experienced intrusive and violent thoughts at random and most days. Years of trying to medicate them away (didn't work by the way), and condemning himself because they were thoughts he did not want or welcome. Anxiety, he thought, was a constant physical and mental state of being as he was waiting for these thoughts, experiencing the violent images that went along with them, hoping no one would find out, and wishing them gone. Here's what happened when he did The Work.
Is it true these thoughts are always intruding and defining you? Yes (even absolutely!)
What happened when he believed the thought about his thoughts? Fear, anxiety, sweats, secrets, treating himself and the thoughts like enemies.
Who would he be without the thought they're always intruding and defining him? Well, here he notices he has many times, even days, when the random thoughts don't appear. He can observe them with some curiosity, separate his sense of being from the thoughts, and just be. He notices they are temporary and realizes he doesn't have to believe any of them. He might even welcome them and watch them leave as randomly as they came. They're playing a movie and he's not the star of it anymore.
The mind is very powerful, and so is The Work. It's amazing to me every time how The Work meets any thought, any belief, and how the mind can question itself, welcome the ego and invite it to quiet down. Back to the heart, finding something that works and realizing there's nothing that needs to be controlled. No power struggle, just a joining of heart and mind in situation, and being part of it all...connected with peace. May we all know peace. Let's do The Work.
My weekly inquiry partner cancelled, and I thought I wouldn't do The Work this morning. Then, my dear friend calls and we move into doing The Work. Great! Turned out it was just what we both needed. Just another example of how life is so kind. We did The Work on "I can't be at peace in uncertainty" both choosing our own situation of not knowing, and stressing out. Same thought, similar reactions believing the thought, very similar experience of ourselves without the thought...freer, lighter, noticing it's ok to seem inactive, a relief not to know, being inspired and moved by people or other circumstances that show up. Without the thought, little to no resistance, no blame. We experienced mental and physical peace. Well, the situations didn't change yet there we were feeling peace.
Perfect segway into turnarounds. "I can't be at peace with certainty" I noticed even when I think I'm in the certainty of getting what I want, I may think of something that, if believed, creates doubt, stress, etc. I seem to want the next thing. Hey, what happened to my certainty? I liked it. Wow, it changes quickly. Through it all, though, I'm playing God, in the business of thinking I can control and manipulate what happens and when. And, I was thinking certainty would bring peace? Thanks, no, I don't want the responsibility of knowing all, and missing out on the surprises and lessons.
Aaaaah, next turnaround. "I can be at peace with uncertainty". It seems every and any moment can change, does change. (Poof, there goes another one.) I've been at peace in many moments, even when things are completely uncertain, and when I'm listening to music, dancing, biking, etc. I did get to sleep last night despite believing a thought that caused me some stress. That was peaceful. I'm at peace when I'm very clear it is impossible to know. I'm certain of uncertainty. Can I just get that? Certainly, uncertainty has brought me to this inherently uncertain moment. So, I need to know? That's just another thought, dear friends. Is it true? I have to know? Want to know? Need to know? Let's do The Work, and find out. Enjoy the moments of uncertainty. They will certainly change.
When I get a call from my loved one, addicted to heroin, saying he's got no money, on the streets, no food, no water, desperate, well, it's easy to move into worry, and savior role. But is it true that it will be helpful to him, or to me, to rush in and try to save him? When I sit and notice the moment slowly, I notice I'm sitting comfortably in a chair, breathing, thankful to be speaking with him, I love him, I listen, there's nothing else I need to do at the moment. He's telling me his experience. He's not even asking for my help. I believe he understands I can't rush in and save him. Sometimes he's asked for cash to be wired, and I simply say "I love you, and I'd like to help you get to a safer place where there's more support and assistance to get clean. And I won't be sending cash". Hearing "no", may upset him, but my connection is warm and profound. I can be with him, loving him, as is, without fixing him or the situation. While we were speaking, someone he knows shows up on the street corner and offers to get him to a rehab, and there's nothing I have to do, but love him. He knows the rehab is what he really needs at the moment. It's all happening in its own time, and all of it is showing us a way. With inquiry, it's showing me a kind way. I can't change him, I'm learning to trust his path whatever that may be, and I love us.
Weeds or Wishes ?