Today has been one of those days where I heard that “Life isn’t going my way.” Don’t you just love how ego sets that up? Life is going the way it goes, but it is never going ego’s way.
Early in the day, I learned that my bike was stolen. There was huge disappointment and quite a bit of anger, aka a sense of unfairness. I had put a lot of work into getting our bikes out and ready and I’ve been riding a lot with our kids. It has been such fun and so good for everyone, especially during these difficult pandemic stay-at-home times.
“See!” says ego. “People suck. Life sucks. It’s not fair.” Blah, blah blah. And so the blame game. Blame goes inward and outward. That is all the evidence ego needs to validate why life is so unfair. And I fell for it.
Oh, but Awareness was also there. I felt it whisper to me, “Just breathe.” It also dropped in to record about the situation. NOT paying attention to what’s really going on for this person has been an ego trap. There’s been a very deep karmic rut to NOT spend time with whoever is struggling. I felt the resistance and picked up the recorder anyway. I did it over and over again because the identification was strong.
I started to notice that the recording and the feelings were not even about the bike anymore, even though that subject is still quite tender. I noticed that the resistance is ego not letting this person be heard.
And there is Awareness — still available and watching the whole thing play out. I saw how ego makes this hard. I saw how ego tries to tell me “you don’t matter.”
In the past, I might record but I was unable to really let Life listen to the pain. I’d often skip over the listening part of the two-handed exercise. (Basically, not do the exercise). When space isn’t made for listening it doesn’t allow Life to offer support. Instead, ego-I would play out the old karma by stuffing all the feelings with an illusion of getting over it (but not really).
What I got to practice today is being the Love, Awareness, Compassion, All That Is, for little moments.
I got to practice just being with and receiving the support of being listened to rather than being ignored. Instead of repressing the suffering or denying it, I practiced letting the power of Presence allow for the sadness, disappointment, anger, overwhelm, and more anger. There is still tenderness around the content. Being with doesn’t mean the circumstances change. I’d still love my bike back. And, I have those recordings to listen to, and I have the experience of turning away from conditioning and toward Life.
The next time you are feeling any hint of suffering, pick up the recorder and talk, uncensored. Let it all out. Then practice listening. It is okay if it feels uncomfortable. Remind yourself that that is ego’s discomfort we want to do: make ego uncomfortable). This is an act of love.