I let other folks make me very angry the other day. It affected a lot of my work throughout the morning, and into the early afternoon. That anger just simmered the rest of the day.
I didn’t understand what was going on until later the next day. And I’m having trouble writing it out now. It seems to be a trouble with reaction. I’m reacting to everything negatively. Even with all of the work I’ve done on this, it’s really pushing hard against everything else. So much so that my Creative Energy is being tied up by dealing with reactions.
It’s happened again. Yesterday I was working on a home repair project, and things weren’t going well. I reacted to this by letting myself get more and more frustrated. Which led, of course, to my getting more and more angry. This time I can tell you exactly where all this reaction came from. My need to do everything perfectly the first time and every time. (Yes, I know that perfection isn’t possible, but you tell that part of me that. I’ve been having that inner discussion for years.)
I’m more aware of all this reaction because I began to cultivate Equanimity in My Life a few weeks ago. That sense of inner calm, even in the midst of all the sound and fury of modern life. Uncertainty is rampant in Life these days, as reactionary forces tear at the fabric of the social contract constructed for US citizens (and people coming here, yearning to “breathe free”). Navigating this uncertainty successfully is more about your mindset than about circumstance. A Peaceful mind is essential to this. Which led me to Equanimity.
To this point, cultivating Equanimity is like plowing new ground; a lot of unexpected stuff gets turned up in the process. What’s turned up in my case is every mistake I’ve made, every regret I have, and the pervading sense of failure that I’ve had to deal with all my life.
While these are difficult things to face, it’s actually a positive thing. I have the chance to deal with them now. They aren’t buried deep in my unconscious anymore. They haven’t been easy to deal with, especially in a year as busy as this one. Because to deal with them, I have to look at how I see the world, and how I see myself. All this anger and frustration comes from My Personal Mythology, the stories I tell myself about me and the world. How do I do that? Ultimately, by changing those stories. Not to lower standards or to lessen the quality of My Life, but to replace emotional reactions with Creative energy.
It’s surprised me to realize that a lot of that calmness I’m looking for comes from Unconditional Love. When you Love someone or something without expectation, with no attachments, and no excuses, there’s no need for reaction. Things are as they are. People are the perfectly imperfect beings they have always been, including me. There’s an old gospel song with the line, “The sweetest words I ever heard was I forgive”. I’d add to that, the sweetest words you’ll ever SAY are I forgive, especially if you’re saying them to yourself.
Here’s the point. In order to Live a Peaceful Life, we start within ourselves. All of the attachments, expectations, and experiences that have gone into creating our Personal Mythology needs to be recognized for what it is. Is it Love or is it fear? Does it Create or does it react? Is it Life or is it simply sound and fury? Forgiveness is a practice that can help you answer those questions.
Peace, Grace, & Love,