Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Ordinary Can Be Extraordinary

I have marveled in recent days at how extraodinary my life has become, and how many things seem to be coming together in later days...and how entirely ordinary it is.

While (these days) I try hard not speak for others, I think humans always tend towards the novel, the interesting, the unique...believing it to be something rare, and only touched upon once in a great while.

In my life and my practice of meditation, I'm suddenly getting a glimpse of how extraordinary each single moment is.  Thoughts rise up, feeling rise up, events occur, then like a wave crashing into the shore they fall, and subside and return to the Sea.  We (I, really) can be so distracted by looking for that something "special" that we miss the profound right under our noses...or we attempt to hold onto each "thing" or each moment, and in doing so let life slip through our hands.

Ummm...Who's bed is this?
When I awoke this morning, the sun had not yet come up over the horizon, and as it typical my two dogs hearing my stirring about, (usually going for my morning "constitutional") retake up the middle of the bed, where my warm body once lay all night.  I go through the ritual of sometimes (most times really) having to pick up each one, as I settle back in bed for another hour or so...and letting them know "I'm the daddy, this is my bed, and you can't take it over...at which point they lovingly squish on either side of me, and daddy and dawgz have their morning cuddlefest as I drift in and out of my final sleep of the night.

It struck me this morning, how extraordinary and wonderful this was...and how often I don't even think about it, get up afterwards and go about my day...looking for the unique, and the special...when these wonderful fleeting moments were right under my nose.

I am grateful for the ordinary, and for the ability to perceive how special, unique, and transitory its nature.  In the practice of meditation, we often say "boredom is an ally."  Our mind flits about, always trying to discover something new (not a bad thing in itself, really), and rarely settles down to penetrate with its own innate wisdom the very thing that appears within/before it.

I imagine, I know really that many people with AgCC experience the same..hell, I think to some extant all human beings do...But speaking for myself, I am almost five decades in this body and this personality, and only now am I discovering the secret treasure innate in just being with what is...things come, things go, thoughts come, thoughts go, life, love, situations...all come and go.  When we try to hold on to them, making them more "solid" than what they are, we live in a perpetual fantasy of what "was" and what "will be", and we loose the awesome beauty and specialness of the very moment in which we are living.

This is even more so true for our feelings or emotional states.  We are constantly striving for something called security, comfort, ease...and if we have emotions that are negative we may want to push them away, crowd them out, avoid them at all costs. One of the peculiar traits of a lot of AgCC folk is an extreme rigidity in our thinking, when our thoughts are challenged, we sometimes can create an uproar insisting "it isn't so" or we (necessarily and neurologically) fly off into a fantasy created by our mind to cope with the perceived (real or not) pressure.  The funny thing, is that while this is an ongoing, strongly rooted behavior in this disorder, all individuals do this to some extent, it just may not be as extreme or have as blatantly bizarre consequences. 

In later days, largely due to my exposure to The Work of Byron Katie, I have begun to make friends with this aspect of myself, that in years past caused so much self hatred and self ridicule.  I'm learning that my overwhelming and extreme emotions hide in themselves beautiful treasure.  They are, after all, trying to tell me something, whether or not I can realize that in the moment.  And, it may be that what they are pointing to is not even really true...yet what the more reason for listening, not running from them.

When we find some inner Silence, we find stability.  I've often seen that when I am confronted with the overwhelming, and what I perceive as negative, feelings, emotions, thoughts...that they are fuzzy and unclear, and painful...so I'll turn on the TV, the radio, music, or any kind of distraction I can get my hands on...In doing so, however, I never give those same things the chance to speak to have a voice...this is changing.  I'm finding so many precious things about myself, treating my thoughts, emotions and beliefs as my errant children, finding out what they "need."

Probably the most overwhelming of all in recent days, is the perpetual decline of T, my roommate, best friend and surrogate sister, and the consumption of her body by the progress of ovarian cancer.  I've realized though, that in indulging in and not questioning the stories of my "sadness" and such, that I can miss so much, of this wonderful being.  After all, and not to be gross, "she's not dead yet", and being able to spend this time with her, open, inclusive, with walls and boundaries down, open to experiencing whatever may come, is even more precious than waking up in the morning with mutual hug time with my dawg children.

If you love someone, let them know it, tell them, share it, don't put it off, realize the precious time and place and gift of your life, honor it and let it share its fullness with you.
~Just Joe

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