This past week proved to be difficult. I am always a mess when it comes to uncertainty. By Friday evening, my emotions scattered and out-of-place, I attempted to find my footing. Again, I slipped. It is in those moments when I am fully inserted in chaos, where I fail to realize that whatever is happening will unfold as it should. The “zen” part of the moment alludes me.
There are several instances where I’ve written about gratitude and appreciating the ordinary. These are goals that I intend to follow, but sometimes it is easier just to give into a negative emotion. When my daughter misbehaves, I am not always using it as a teaching opportunity because sometimes it is easier to put her in a timeout or even reprimand by yelling. When confronted in an argument, my first reaction is to master the debate by emphasizing my gut reaction. If someone shuns me, whether it is a stranger or acquaintance or friend, I tend to take it personally and internalize the disappointment even though I know their reaction is really not about me.
The ordinary grace of everyday life strums in the background in my life. The smell of coffee brewing in the morning, the smile that appears on my daughter’s face when I pick her up, and the routine loading and unloading of life, whether it is laundry or groceries frames the outline of my life. The routine keeps me grounded, but yet in the thick of conflict or disappointment what do I do? I react. I recognize the beauty of these moments when there is no external force threatening my lens, but that calm disappears in the middle of things.
In the past, I’ve repeated some catch phrases, “Stay calm, It will pass, Don’t jump to conclusions,” but instead these words become meaningless as if I’ve never encountered them before. This part of the process is what needs my work. To look at a situation and absorb all of it, instead of speaking to the part that relates to directly to me. I’ve always believe that how something appears or my perception is rarely the truth, but putting this maxim in practice becomes somewhat of a challenge.
I think much of this relates to my reluctance to embrace the silent part of a conflict or disappointment. In a larger context, I believe that my reluctance to meditate consistently is what triggers my reactions. Incorporating silence into my routine might be what I need to dull the edges of disappoint and to really see past the chaos of a moment and make a conscious choice to sit with the uncertainty, but not let it consume me. My goal is to see past the edge of disappointment and work toward synthesizing what it means in the overall arc of my life.
What are ways in which you deal with disappointment or conflict? Do you react or take a moment to catch your breath?