I woke up this morning sad, frustrated and disappointed. “Why?” I ask myself. It’s a beautiful day on Orcas, you are healthy, you have money in the bank and a lot of good friends. The me that is sad says “Yes, I know, but….”
This is pretty much a lifelong pattern for me, of waking up in a mild malaise. I’m a regular Ginger Rogers when it comes to this unhappy song and dance. I’m on to me now, though, and can trip up this unhappy La-La-La, more frequently than ever before.
The truth is that for decades I’ve been unaware of the underlying sensations that this malaise is thriving upon, not so much like a parasite, but sort of. Somewhat like a symbiotic relationship, but not quite that either.
Malaise is a beautiful word for “I’m feeling powerless, helpless and hopeless, and I don’t even know it, or for that matter, don’t even want to know it.” It is a way of being in the world that consternates on what isn’t right or good, what could be better, or what could go away completely. The focus of this voice is on what is lacking. Why, oh why are we so attached to focusing on what is wrong or bad, or at least not right?
Every recovery program asks the questions: “What have you lost that you are now ready to reclaim and recover?” This is a big question, which can truly bring one to realizing that there is more to getting clean and sober than just eliminating the substance or behavior of choice.
I know what I want – I want serenity! I want to come to accept what I cannot change. In essence, I want to recover my dignity, and know that place of peace within. I know it’s there – I’ve experienced it dozens of time. There must be trick to getting it back!
Yes, there is a trick – Yoda shares it in Star Wars: “Train yourself to let go of what you are afraid to lose.” It’s that simple.
Oh, yeah, there’s one other thing: stop doing what doesn’t work, or, what isn’t in alignment with what it is you say you want. It’s simple to say but challenging to sustain.
What makes this challenging is that our identity â€“ who we believe ourselves to be, is attached to our perceptions, interpretations, and everything that is in our reality because of our perceptions and interpretations. We don’t want to let go of what we are afraid to lose. It’s scary as sh*t to experiment with who we are without our "stuffies" â€“ my grandson’s word for what makes him feel safe and secure with himself.
In general, what we are afraid to let go of is the belief that we are always in control; that we are not powerless, or helpless; and the situation is not hopeless. Who are we – what are we, if we are powerless, helpless and hopeless? That is the $50,000.00 dollar question.
Most of us are sissies, and aren’t willing to engage the courage it would take to explore the edge of our comfort zones – just the edge of our comfort zone. The truth is, we never have to go outside of our comfort zones – we can empower ourselves to just expand our comfort zone. The internal space, within each of us, is the final frontier.
It makes sense to me that for most individuals on this planet, we make the most progress regarding our spiritual development in the last two weeks of life. Why? Because, at this point, we see the inevitability and the futility of trying to prove that we are in control. We come to accept that we are powerless over the universal forces of LIFE, so we surrender our will. And, in doing so we come to serenity and peace. AMEN!
When you look into the eyes of every individual with whom you come into contact, you will see a being who is challenged with malaise and fear, just as you are. We all struggle with “how can I get out of this alive?”
Just for today: Give yourself credit for being in the skin you are in. Love the one you are with – yourself. Give up the worries and frets of this specific moment and give yourself some fun – whatever that means to you! And rather than focusing on what is lacking in this moment, take on the practice of seeing what you do have, what is good, lovely, and what brings you joy – at whatever level.
John Lennon would say: "All I am saying is, Give Peace a Chance!" Monty Python would say: "Always look on the bright side of life!" Dr. Rosie would say: “Have all the fun you are willing to have – and more if possible!”
If you’d like to join me in the AGING – Who Me in-person discussions at the Orcas Island Senior Center, we are meeting on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. We’ve changed our time to 10am-11:30am. We meet next on April 11th. Or, if you’d like to set up a coaching session, feel free to call Rosie at 360-376-4323.
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