Sunday, May 09, 2010

Throwing Something Away

Right now I’m trying to pay attention to what makes me uncomfortable. I was listening to a talk by Pema Chodron called “Getting Unstuck”.

She was talking about our endless desire to be “comfortable” and “safe”; how we are always trying to avoid pain and discomfort. She pointed out that when we experience any uncomfortable feelings we quickly choose one of three options:

1. Getting angry and lashing out at others
2. Addictive behaviors
3. Going unconscious

I saw myself in the addictive behavior although there are elements of all three in my life. I had been noticing that I was interrupting my work flow constantly to have another snack, or make another cup of tea.

So I have been making a list of all the things I feel worried about, those long-standing issues that remain unresolved:
Money owed
Tax debt
Lack of health insurance
My weight
Lack of exercise
Never enough time
Things that need to be done

All the usual kinds of things that people have in their bag of concerns.

The thing to do according to Pema Chodron is just to notice the discomfort and just to be with it. That means no running for a snack! Interesting. Just being with the feeling of discomfort and allowing it to be present.

It’s not a matter of throwing away, or even resolving a stressful issue. It is more a matter of letting go of my desire to feel safe and comfortable, my need to look good, my need to be in control.

Last year I threw away guilt… that is to say I just let it fall like a cloak falling off my shoulders and lying in a heap on the ground. I walked away thinking, “Guilt, Boy! That sure was a waste of time and energy!”

Maybe this year I can let go of clinging to comfort. It is such a natural thing, as babies we want to be held, fed, protected and cared for. And all of these are important for our early survival. But there comes a day when the child can let go of some of that clinging and find their own sustenance. Of course the first thing the child does is try to find some place of comfort.

Can I grow beyond this mindset? To achieve a state of being beyond my little self with all her little needs and desires? Can I walk out beyond my safe boundaries and be with whatever I may experience?

I give myself permission now to be naked (kind of like Venus on the half shell) I see myself allowing it all to fall away, my true self revealed.