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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Do You Swear to Own Your Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth?

"If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?" -- Dogen

I read a really good article this week called "3 Easy Peasy Steps to Resolving Anger" by Farhana Dhalla (  Basically, she suggests to name it (anger is not the primary emotion...fear is the primary emotion and anger is how it presents itself.), be it (allowing yourself to be angry) and watch it (just observe).  This line in particular jumped out at me:

“The spiritual path is about being in truth and that means being in truth about your anger.”

Like the author, I can be "ocd" about being happy, present, and living in the now, because I don't want to be a sourpuss.  I mean, who really does?  Sure, there are lots of folks out there who are cantankerous, ornery and grumpy but I don't think they want to be.  They just are that way because they think they have no other option.

Well, this week, I have been a little, um, "off".  My "off" means short tempered, impatient, and overwhelmed (I know, I can hardly believe it either).  I have been letting the "to do list" get in the way of my daily quiet time, for one thing.  I was really diligent about getting my daily meditation streak going.  Yesterday, I realized that I hadn't "sat" since Friday.  That's four days of go, go, go without any time to relax and go inward.  

It was starting to show too.  I could tell.  

There are a number of things that I've allowed to "get under my skin" this week.  Instead of mentally beating myself up for being less than a loving, kind and boundlessly patient person, I decided to follow the advice of the author:  name it, be it and watch it.  The majority of my frustrations come from my work environment which can be "an opportunity for growth".  I work with +/- 800 engineers.  They are my customers.  I'm not sure if you know many engineers.  I've had 11 years to get acquainted with them.  Of course, it's never wise to stereotype, but my experience has shown me that the majority of them are so focused on their particular area of expertise, they tend to be imbalanced in other areas, such as, oh, let's see, manners, social graces, and common sense.  

Not all.  But most.  At least the ones I know.

There is "lunchtime runner guy" who stares.  He's nice enough, don't get me wrong.  But he stares.  I know he stares.  I have peripheral vision, you know.  I can see when someone is looking at me, even if I'm not making eye contact with them.  Sometimes, he'll try and make conversation with me, mostly about running.  But, most of the time, he just...stares.  Maybe he's just shy.  But, it ends up being creepy.  Then, we have "morning guy who will only say hello if I say it first".  I have tested this theory many times.  If I smile and say hello, he suddenly finds his voice.  However, if I don't speak, neither does he.  And finally, let's mention "mumble man".  He mumbles.  The Swedish Chef is more intelligible.  I'm serious, here.  And, to make matters worse, he talks to the back of  my head.  I know he's there, but he's not assertive enough to, first of all, address me by name or, secondly, speak in a pitch heard by species other than canine.  

Right about this time, I gently chided myself for my use of "nicknames".  Being witty and humorous is okay.  Sarcastic and hurtful really isn't, even if I think, at this moment in time, that it's witty and humorous.  

Just thought I'd throw that in.

I've spent enough time with all of these people though, so I know what they're trying to do and say.  I liken it to the mother of a toddler who is just beginning to speak.  Someone from the outside who doesn't spend much time with the child would think it's just gibberish, but mom is with the little tyke 24/7 and can decode the goo goo ga ga into real words.  I don't mean to call grown men toddlers, but you get the idea.

The expression "familiarity breeds contempt" comes to mind here.  Sometimes, the more you know someone, the more you start to find faults and dislike things about them.  That's kind of what is happening here.  However, I know it all starts with ME.  These are all opportunities for me to reframe, refocus, and turnaround so I can resolve these feelings and put them in the proper perspective.  Like the author said, fear is the primary emotion and anger is how it presents itself.  We fear what we don't understand.

And I'll say it again.  Sometimes, I don't understand them.  I'm a completely different personality.  I thrive in social situations.  I can make eye contact.  I have no issue initiating a conversation.  I can talk to anybody.

After I named it and allowed myself to be it, I watched it.

I saw someone who thought life would be a lot easier if everyone would just be more like me.

That declaration makes me feel just a wee bit sheepish.  And slightly embarrassed.  But, I can live with that.  And I don't feel so angry.  Now that I know what it is, I can focus myself into a better place.  I can accept myself for who I am, for the emotions I experience, and allow it all to be as it is.  Once I give myself permission to feel and to be, I can extend that same courtesy to other people.  I can allow them to be whoever and whatever they want to be, even if it's dramatically different from me.

I just need to name it, be it and watch it.

Ah.  Now that feels better.

"The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own.  You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president.  You realize that you control your own destiny." -- Albert Ellis


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