Tuesday 22 March 2011

Why climbing into the trench doesn't work

"You can never feel depressed enough to help someone else feel better."  I don't know where I heard this phrase first, but it contains a nugget of wisdom that eluded me for many years.

I used to think that by living small - whether financially, emotionally, or mentally - I was somehow 'in solidarity' with friends or family members who were having a tough time.  I would go down into the trenches of their suffering with them.

How wrong I was.  It has taken me years to learn that feeling depressed will never help my friend who is feeling depressed.  It's far more important - and of infinitely greater service - to feel as good as I can so that I can be of genuine service to a friend who is in need, rather than recreate their pain so that we both wallow in that pain.

The twist is this: if I'm not living small because I think that comforts those around me, I have to live for myself.  And who do I choose to be?  It's a question I'm revisiting and, as we can all reinvent who we are so that we embody our highest potential, it is a question that is always relevant. 

Friday 18 March 2011

Life's semicolon

I haven't gone away!  I'm still here.  But what I write seems trite, so I'm just not publishing it.  I suppose I'm in one of life's semicolons; a pause but not a full stop!

I shall be back when the writing flows true - not trite.

Friday 4 March 2011

The wisdom of the heart

I normally give up on New Year's resolutions because I forget, sabotage or just plain ignore them.  This year, although I have done most of the above, I'm still here.  I'm still 'doing' it.  That said, it might work infinitely better if I were to be 'it' rather than do it.

The 'it' in question is non-resistance.  I'm not at the level of acceptance which, to me denotes a level of active welcoming.  I'm still working on being neutral, much less positive! 

And, as I stumble through this year, forgetting, ignoring and perhaps sabotaging (which is always harder to see in oneself than in others), I am learning.  I'm learning to let of the mind.  My mind is constantly chattering, analysing, arguing and undermining.  I've realised it is simply incapable of non-resistance.  Resistance seems hard-wired in it - or into my mind at any rate.

So I've had to take a different approach.  I'm non-resisting (!) its chatter and shifting my focus to my heart.  My heart, I have discovered, is infinitely more compassionate, gentle and forgiving.  It is the very embodiment of non-resistance.  When I take the time (i.e. remember) to ask my heart how it feels about anything, I get the same answer: a feeling of peace. 

My heart just be.  It offers me glimpses of peace that wash over me briefly.  Once it stayed all day!  But, in general, I find I need to remember to dip into it, to slide below the mental chatter and feel my way into my heart, into non-resistance.

My heart is much wiser than my mind.  And, in a true sign of its wisdom, it is also much quieter than my mind.  I have to seek out that wisdom, underneath the shouting and parading of my mind.  And every time I do remember to touch into it, I am enriched, even if only momentarily.