this too

During episodes of confusion, overwhelm or distress, you have likely been consoled with the phrase “this too shall pass” by a sincere friend sporting a sympathetic head tilt and concerned eyebrows. But what your friend may have failed to tell you is that it all passes. No matter how you label your experience, what positive, negative or neutral descriptors you use, it will all pass.

ecstasy
disbelief
numbness
bliss
isolation
clarity
confusion
anticipation
disgust
grief
wonder
intoxication
malaise
hope

 

All will pass.

serenity

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the risk of sounding uber-positive (gasp) or mindlessly optimistic, there is nothing that will happen today that you cannot handle even if your feelings tell you a tall tale of woe.

 

Feelings are not fixed or infallible.

Feelings exist to be felt but can also be based primarily on distorted thought processes. Distorted thoughts take us down a long and winding road that is littered with brightly coloured signage of what is good and bad, right and wrong, positive or negative. Why do we develop amazing stories around some experiences that we deem to be so utterly exasperating or unmanageable?  We learn from all of them.

 

Thoughts are like teenagers.

What they say to us needs to be trusted but also verified. For details on how distorted thought patterns clutter our path with distracting signs, see my previous post on “Distorted Thoughts”

What if you opened your door, whether your house is in order or disarray, and accepted all guests, invited or otherwise?  Once you let interesting characters inside, perhaps they won’t seem so uninvited-a-la-Alanis-Morissette as you first feared.

Listen to the ramblings of your assorted guests without judgement and learn from them. But for heaven’s sake, don’t feed them until you know you want them around for good.

 

 

look then look away

Frankie’s Fixation

My sister’s dog is a Dorkie. A Dorkie is a cross between the Dachshund and the Yorkshire Terrier not a dog who is slow-witted or socially inept although this dog does have some interesting quirks.

Frankie the Dorkie

During our recent family gathering, Frankie the Dorkie would sit beside the refrigerator with his glance fixed firmly on a bright green frog-like fridge magnet. Despite the constant, buzzing activity and social antics of the dozen or so adults, children and four other dogs all around him, Frankie’s gaze remained steady.

But then looking was no longer enough for him. He would then begin to whimper with only the occasional glance away from his beloved magnet to see if anyone would come and lower the magnet on the fridge so he could get a closer look.  When the whimpering didn’t work, he tried barking.

For some reason, we were all quite amused at this fixation and would lower the magnet to see what would happen next. Frankie would get visibly excited as the magnet made its way down to where he could reach it. He would sniff it and then he’d take it gently in his mouth and run away.

Laughing, we’d retrieve the magnet and put it back on the fridge to only start the sitting, staring and whimpering process all over again.

The humour wore off much sooner than Frankie’s steely resolve and we finally hid the magnet on top of the fridge. Frankie was not to be deterred and he just kept staring at the top of the fridge where he thought the magnet was.

Days later now, an email from my mother, who is babysitting Frankie for the week, explained that he is still obsessed with the magnet even though it is no longer even on top of the fridge. To prove that to Frankie, she put him on top of the fridge to show him that there was nothing up there.

It was no use. He is a dog obsessed. Holding on to something that is not his and never will be. Waiting impatiently and expectantly for something even with clear evidence that it may not even exist anymore.

It may be easy to write off Frankie as a canine oddity but those of us who walk on two feet instead of four still struggle with fixations and obsessions.

 

“It has to happen exactly this way or it’s not right”

“I need more…. time, money, friends, support, hope… then everything will be fine”

“He hurt me and I will never be able to forgive him. Ever.”

 

Resolve, Resolutions and Acceptance
In this season of goal setting, can we all find space to accept all of it?

All aspects of ourselves and our lives. Get up on top of the fridge and see that we may be fixated on an empty space and then accept that. The fixation and the empty space.

Then look away and accept that, too.

To what do you cling?  Can you accept the clinging?  Can you accept the letting go?

Be well, be happy and be at peace this coming year.

Compassion starts at home.