These last two weeks have been rich in thoughts and emotions; here’s a bit about that
“Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead”?
Sales of this song have exploded in the United Kingdom and elsewhere; one really has to wonder why because there is a fundamental difference between the melting of the Wicked Witch of the West and Margaret Thatcher’s passing on.
You see when the Wicked Witch of the West got fried, accidentally I might add, what the Munchkins were really celebrating was not the witch’s death but their own regained freedom. Thus the song goes:
“Then this is a day of Independence
For all the Munchkins and their descendants”
The only thing that Margaret Thatcher’s death represents is that she is no longer in this world; her death doesn’t change a thing for anybody.
And it’s funny because up until this event, nobody was even thinking about her but now, all of a sudden they are.
Now, whether you happened to agree with her policies or not, and this is not a political article, this is a compassionate and empathetic article, what people are really expressing is the hurt and pain that they felt while she was in office. Unfortunately celebrating her death is not going to change the slightest element of what she put in place politically and we will most certainly not be rid of our own pain and frustration that existed while she was in power if we are dredging it up, nurturing it and holding on to it.
I lost two friends over this and here is the point that I would like to make. If you are willing to cut off your friends because you don’t agree on whether it’s right to celebrate or not a person’s death, then you are not in control of your own life, you are allowing outside circumstances to control your life.
But the only aspect that we can be in control of is our own awareness of where our experience of life as a human being is coming from; by realizing that we are living in the feeling of our thinking, that nobody else can make us feel something unless we have those thoughts ourselves and though we are unable to control even to the thoughts that come up, we can be aware of what is happening within ourselves.
I personally believe that celebrating a person’s death leaves a bitter aftertaste. By all means, if you don’t believe in a persons political ideals, particularly if they are the decision maker for a country, celebrate when that person leaves power but celebrating a death when the person has been out of office for nearly twenty four years and has had no say in the running of the country for that amount of time? Really, is there any point?
The only person that you can hurt with that is yourself and in France we say “vengeance is a hot dish eaten cold”, which is to say, difficult to digest.
So that was Monday 8th of April.
Losing a Job
On Wednesday I was informed by one of my employers that I won’t have a job next year. The reason that was evoked is that I’m not regular in my work but, in fact, it’s not true.
On a personal level, this is where we can be vigilant and, sort of, in control because it’s very easy to judge and form an opinion on another person and see what you think you should be seeing.
Last year was a difficult year for me and in January of last year I was very ill and absent from my work for several weeks. Of course I replaced all the missed days etc, but people formed an opinion about me that I am someone who is often absent and thus, unreliable. So what happens now is, you are absent one day because you’re unwell, or you have to change your schedule round to accommodate your children, for example, and people believe that working with you is a problem and they consider that they cannot count on you. What they don’t see is all the extra stuff that you do for them; they don’t see just how reliable and dependable you actually are because in their minds, with their thinking, you are not.
Michael Neill in his audio book “Effortless Success” gives an experiment to do where he asks us to look around the room and pinpoint objects of a particular colour, brown for example. Then he asks us to name all the objects that are green. Try it and you will understand what I’m getting at.
And this is precisely what happens when we judge another person – we only see the brown and are incapable of seeing the green.
But when we realize that the judgement we pass on another person is in fact due to our own thinking and therefore coming from ourselves, that it has absolutely nothing to do with the other person and their behaviour, good or bad, or their politics, good or bad, then we become more open to seeing them in a different light and in another perspective. We in fact become open to compassion and empathy and peace with others.
So that was Wednesday 10th of April.
On Friday I lost Hope, my cat. She went out on Thursday evening a week ago and has not come back since (Why oh why did I call her Hope? It leaves so much scope for thinking things like “I’ve lost Hope” “Hope died” “I will never have Hope again”!!)
Yesterday I finally admitted to myself that I am unreasonably upset over her disappearance. When we hear the word “unreasonable” we automatically think that means that we are behaving in a manner that we shouldn’t, in a manner that has no reason to be. When I say unreasonable I mean that I do not want to reason away my sadness and grief. I didn’t want to do or think anything to try and reason my way out of feeling that upset. I was very happy to feel unreasonably upset without the desire to be anything else…
And I could reason it away. I could say to myself that the Kitty only has the meaning that I gave her, that I’m feeling sad because of my own thoughts and nothing more, but I’m happy with the meaning that I gave to her and I’m happy to feel sad over her loss. Why would I want to feel anything different?
And guess what? Today I feel a whole lot better and the thoughts have cleared of their own accord.
But here’s the funny part and if you’ve read any of my previous posts you will know that there’s nearly always a “funny part”
Yesterday I had a “getting to know the future mother” appointment with a midwife at the hospital. In the course of our conversation I gave a brief outline of what’s been going on these last couple of years and, being unreasonably upset over my Kitty Kat, I was pretty tearful.
And this really bothered the midwife. She immediately wanted me to make an appointment with the maternity psychologist.
Being in a caring profession, she was very concerned to see me so sad and was quite insistent that I speak with this psychologist despite my protestations that I was just upset about my cat, though I was appreciative of her loving attention. So I leaned in, touched her arm and said “thank you, but I don’t feel the need to be fixed. I’m fine with feeling sad today” And it was one of those awesome Namaste moments where she could see through my eyes right to my core being and realize, even though I was crying and sad that I am fundamentally and perfectly okay, and I looked through her eyes right to her core being and saw that she was fundamentally and perfectly okay too.
We live in a society, and I’ve said this before and I will most definitely repeat myself endlessly, where we are being bombarded with the image that our feelings are dictated by what’s happening on the outside of us and that we are not allowed to feel bad, sad, upset or angry; that we are not supposed to undergo any kind of negative emotion and that if we are feeling bad in any way we have to do something about it in order to not feel bad any more.
We automatically assume that when someone is in a low state of mind that they need to be fixed, repaired, restored, reconstructed, improved on and that it should be done as quickly as possible without further ado. But we don’t try and fix ourselves when we’re happy so why should we fix ourselves when we are sad? Fighting off an emotion, whether good or bad, automatically creates an inner conflict and instead of making things better, it in fact makes things far worse.
I’m not saying to hold on to any kind of emotion; what’s important is to realize that what we are feeling is coming from our thinking and by being aware of how we really function we realize that an emotion is just as fleeting as the thought that produced it, thus we can accept to feel whatever we happen to be feeling in the moment without getting caught up in it. And not forgetting, we’re the ones doing the thinking, nobody else is doing that for us. We are literally making it up as we go along, creating our experience moment to moment through our thoughts.
We talk about letting go; the insight that gives the ability to “do” that is the very awareness itself of what is really happening.
For example, when you realize that a shoe is too tight for your foot, you don’t dwell on the uncomfortable feeling for days or months on end, and you don’t require twenty years of therapy so that you can finally get over the negative emotions of the over tight shoe, you very naturally stop wearing that shoe and start wearing one that is more comfortable; and so it is with our thoughts-feelings, once we are aware that it is the thought that is creating the uncomfortable feeling, that there is nothing to do to change anything, then that opens up the space for the thoughts-feelings to change very naturally for the simple reason that we are programmed for well-being and that the only barrier to that well-being is getting caught up in our own thinking and believing that it is real.
I still came away from the appointment with the psychologist’s telephone number, and I still hope that my Kitty Kat will turn up out of the blue, but if she doesn’t I won’t be using that number because I am willing to accept the panoply of God-given thoughts-emotions and to appreciate them fully with the Faith that whatever happens…. I’m okay.
And, by the way, so are you.