We talk an awful lot about the weather.
We spend so much time talking about things that don’t matter, don’t we? I was driving today and I caught myself—caught my mind—jumping from annoyance to annoyance over first world problems that didn’t even last as long as it took to get annoyed about them. It’s even worse with the things we consider bigger problems. We start to convince ourselves that each thing that passes through is who we are or what life is all about. We get hooked. We forget what’s really underneath all of that weather:
If you got hooked, and then someone was to give you four seconds, or a minute, and then tap you on the shoulder and ask you what that feels like, it feels really bad, it feels like “bad me” and the aggression is turned against yourself.
Maybe if you waited four minutes and tapped them on the shoulder, what it feels like is—they are really wrong, and they did this to me, and its their fault that I’m in this situation.
But somehow, if at that moment, you were to pause, and start breathing and let the whole thing unwind and unravel, and hang out in the impermanent yet ineffable space—if you were to do that you might realize that all of this blaming of other people, when you went into it deeper, you would see that the seed of it was really some deep discomfort and aggression about yourself.
And if you went more deeply into that, you would probably find sadness.
And I quote this so much, this Poem of Rick Fields, where he said:
Behind the hardness there is fear
And if you touch the heart of the fear
You find sadness (it sort of gets more and more tender)
And if you touch the sadness
You find the vast blue sky
This is really what I am encouraging is the next time you feel yourself hooked, if you pause and you breathe with it, and you don’t act out and you don’t repress, but you think of this quote, and you think the ones that will create the new culture that is needed are those that are not afraid to be insecure.
Whatever it is that you think at that moment, maybe this is what it feels like to be burning up the seeds that have caused all the pain on this earth—this is what that feels like.
I always feel that somehow you have to reframe that bad feeling—so that you see it as a doorway to liberation, as an opening to the vast blue sky.
~ Pema Chodron, from Practicing Peace in Times of War.
Skip the constant weather reports. All that time jumping from worry to worry is just clouds. Don’t fight it or be afraid of it. Just breathe. You are the vast blue sky of tenderness underneath.