I am pretty far into my year of trying to meditate everyday and see what else happens. Chief among my hopes, not goals: trying to let go of my obsession with perfection, being more present, and letting go of my old “Type A” ways. All of that has been surprisingly easier than I had anticipated, and I give a lot of the credit to the first decision. The decision to meditate everyday has been a gateway for me to learn so much.
Recently I learned something that I have been told my whole life, and certainly my entire married life, by my husband, it really is all about how we react. No one can make me feel anything. That all happens in the big theatre behind my eyes. I had always heard this and in my mind thought “whatever, but really what you said, what you did…that’s the reason I feel like this.” You know what? It turns out that it really is all me…not you. I would have bet anything it was you. Especially every you that does not like me, or who has a differing opinion, or who disagrees about some key issue.
It is kind of humbling and amazing to realize that all of those relationships can be changed if we change the way we handle something or the way we take something. For example my boss and I had a rift a couple of years ago. Don’t get me wrong he said some things to me that he will have to reconcile with himself. He has made repeated tries to reconcile with me. Until I started this year, I was unwilling and unwavering. He had done me wrong and I would be mortally wounded for life. It was not easy but somewhere, some time doing a Metta meditation and focusing on him; I began to realize all of that was more about him than me. It was the way I was reacting and holding on to it that would not allow me or him to move past it. I am not even sure when it happened. Still working on that “fully present” thing, but one day I just let it go. I just chose to react differently. I chose to let go of the wounded victim, reminding him of his transgressions by my cold stare. I just treated him like a person, full of potential and short comings just like this person. You know what? It actually made me feel better. I was not necessarily letting him off the hook. I was letting myself out of a prison of my own making.
Yes, he said those things, yes, I reacted the way I did. Only, I decided to remain in that moment for the next several years. This is just one example. I have also noticed that taking a minute to breathe and center myself before immediately reacting has made me calmer and enriched my relationships. All of the avoided arguments and hurts that never happened could not weaken and wound my relationships.
It is still a struggle but I feel like I keep learning and keep growing, and after all isn’t that why they call it practice.