I woke up today. Period. Full stop.
It’s mid-morning and I’m feeling very rough. My IBD is acting up, my therapist thinks I hate myself, and the Zapruder film seems to have been altered.
Basically, I woke up and automatically went on autopilot with a heading set for misery.
Recently, I saw this meme, which I initially found reassuring:
But of course, I’m not simple enough to just appreciate the sentiment for what it is. I started thinking, “But wait, some people have had pretty tough lives. What if it is actually a bad life?” Can you relate?
Life not being fair is an understatement. And this morning I felt angry. I felt angry at people who had intentionally hurt me, people who had just abandoned me, people who discriminated against me, the poverty of a disability income, the flaws in the medical system, AND SO ON …
Here’s the deal. When we get in this state of mind, we’re increasing our suffering. The mind thrives when it has a problem. We make ego identities about being victims or survivors. If we weren’t miserable about something, we’d feel miserable that we have nothing to complain about! Such is the monkey mind.
Yet, we are human. If we are constantly fighting negative thoughts, we put pressure on ourselves to believe and be something fake. So I am telling myself, and you, to relax. It is okay to feel angry. It is okay to feel hurt.
Resisting all negative thinking will only strengthen it. For instance, if I tell you not to think about elephants, what can’t you help but think about? Elephants!
In Vipassana meditation we are asked to be aware. Yet, there is a difference between naming what is going on and making judgments about life and self and others. Acceptance and it’s subsequent “peace” comes, not from somehow liking a bad circumstance or event, but simply allowing it to be, as it is.
The path that neither resists nor attaches is the path toward equanimity.
So, will my day get better? It’s actually irrelevant to ask or answer that question. Peace is not found in a good day or any type of day. Peace exists apart from the form of our lives.