A few days ago I felt like I was riding a rollercoaster throughout my day! So many news arriving, probably every hour for at least half of the day, alternating between good and bad news, as in a friend finding out she was very sick and another calling me to say she had healed completely. I wonder if this is what teenage girls perceive during their days. No, I can’t remember how I felt most of those days anymore; and the other good thing is that I do not have a built-in magnifying glass anymore to amplify those feelings, thank goodness! So, there I was, working hard the whole day, trying to remain centered, and with hair down. Oh! And keeping the eyeballs from popping out.
But then yesterday I saw my younger daughter, who is almost a teenager, dealing with her own drama created around some chores, including homework. She got so caught up in her own story that she couldn’t even complain about the main issue anymore; she was focused on the complaints instead and how to sound like a bigger victim. I smiled to myself, and went back to what I was doing, deciding to wait until that victimizing wave had passed enough for her to regain openness to a dialogue. When she approached me, she mentioned, “I don’t know why I made this big deal for such a small thing all of a sudden.” I replied, “Probably because you let your feelings take over.” She nodded, agreeing; then added, “But how could I not?” I said, “We can learn to dissociate from our feelings”, not meaning we don’t feel anymore, just meaning we acknowledge it is there, and let it pass instead of letting it take over us. She asked how. Patiently I replied, as I have many times before to this same question: “By meditating at least a little bit every day”. She proceeded to excuses, “But I don’t know how to meditate well”. I said, “You won’t know until you have a practiced a bunch”. She then said, “But I am not good at practicing meditation either…” To which I replied, “You will never know or get better at it unless you try it.” She then got lost in her thoughts.
This conversation reminded me of other friends of mine, who have talked to me about meditating. In my opinion, the biggest issue is sitting with oneself; not everybody wants to face it. In the stillness, things will come up – many things that had been shoved down because you did not want to deal with it. But like the dirt swept under the rug, one day it will come out and will need to be dealt with. Meditation is opening the vacuum cleaner bag to see and wipe what has been stored there. And as soon as you stop distracting yourself with things outside you and pay attention to what is inside, the dust will start to settle, and you will be able to see with more clarity into daily stories and how to handle them without getting caught up in a dusty whirlwind. All you need to deal with it has already been given to you; and like a dusty tool kept in a shelf in your garage for yours, try to sit and use the meditation duster to find tools inside you (and even qualities you had forgotten you had) to live in a better way.
I found this poem from Rumi, entitled “The Journey Starts Here”, which refers to what I just wrote about:
Don’t go off sightseeing.
The real journey is right here.
The great excursion starts
from exactly where you are.
You are the world.
You have everything you need.
You are the secret.
You are the wide opened.
Don’t look for the remedy for your troubles
You are the medicine.
You are the cure for your own sorrow.
I hope you will soon make time to stop in stillness to take care of some dusty shelf in your inner library.