To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment. – Eckhart Tolle
Life can be so busy and noisy at times. Sometimes there are sounds and feelings of happiness, joy, excitement and love. Sometimes, life is full of fear, uncertainty and loneliness. All of it is really just distractions. It is very easy for me at times to latch onto those feelings that are outside of myself. The problem with attaching yourself to these feelings or events, is that they are always fleeting. It is easy to get captivated by the feelings and emotions that we deem “positive.” How often do we cling to things like being in a remission or finding calm. We find bliss in starting a new relationship or receiving praise for something we have done or achieved. However, on the flip side, we try to run or hide from “bad” news. Illness rears its ugly head or a relationship falters. Sometimes it can be something out of our control like the rain on a day we had wanted sun. What I am working on and going to explore in this post is learning to detach from that noise and chaos to not get sucked into identifying with the good and bad that happens to us in our lives.
Everyone, illness or not, deals with positives and negatives in life. I have often felt when I am in a medical crisis like it is never going to pass. I go into a place of fear because I don’t know how to stop it and it feels out of my control. I try to rush through it and often feel like I am in this crisis because I have failed in some way. I didn’t do enough to stay healthy. I always identify with what is going on with me and get stuck and focused on what is physically happening. Likewise, when something good happens, I plan a trip, I win an award or my life seems to move with perfect synchronicity, I take credit for that as well. These things happened because I worked so hard, I followed the right path or I found the right doctors. This rollercoaster of emotions can be exhausting. I have a bunch of health stuff going on right now, some good and some bad, and it has brought this topic to the forefront for me.
For awhile I have been discussing the lump I found and had to be biopsied. It is not cancerous, which is great news. However, I am still waiting for an appointment with a surgeon, which causes some trepidation. On the other side of the coin, I just had an MRI on Monday and found out that there is zero activity with my MS, which is great news. I feel this dichotomy of being happy about one test result, and fearful of another. When something like this happens, I do what I always do. I write, paint and read. What I have come to realize, is that the times that I am most at peace, are the times when I am not engaging with either side of the rollercoaster. When I am spending more time sitting at the top of the hill than the scary time of ascent or the exhaultous feeling of racing down the hill at top speed. When I really look at the times when I feel most connected to my true self, it is during times or silence and solitude. It is times when I am listening to music and sitting out in nature. Times when I am working in my garden or cuddling with my animals. I want a break from all the adrenaline that comes with excitement and fear. None of those events have anything to do with who I truly am.
I truly am alright. I am safe. I will be ok. I am loved and loving.
I am certainly not saying that I never want to feel the ecstasy of jubilation and celebration. I am not saying I feel I can avoid dismay and agitation. What I am saying, is that I believe I can choose to select neither for the time being. When things get too much and you feel overwhelmed, you have the ability and right to choose stillness. Find things that make you feel calm and centered. Things that allow you to disconnect from the feelings of panic and chaos and those of exuberance and triumph.
What I do know is that everything passes or moves on. The excitement of a new relationship calms into a peaceful connection that allows you to sit in silence reading a book just in each other’s presence. The trepidation of awaiting test results relaxes into finding the results out and coming up with a plan on how to proceed. All seasons come and go. I will still be me. I will still turn to the things that make me feel ground and settled. You can do the same.
Allow yourself to find some stillness today. Even if it is just listening to some quiet music while you sit outside in nature. Reconnect to who you truly are. There is no stress in that place. I heard this song the other day and it really spoke to me and showed me a different perspective to the fast paced life that often is going on inside my Being.
Have a listen and take a nap. Find a place of stillness and know this season too will change.