What’s the first thing that any of us do when trouble comes? The first thing that happens when we get into trouble is that we start thinking. Our little think machine just gets geared up, and it starts to go. And it goes. Now, what is it thinking about? It’s thinking about the trouble it’s in and it’s thinking about ways in which to get out of trouble.
And once our little machine starts to think about ways to get out of trouble, and is able to identify the way in which it can free itself, what does it do? It starts asking for stuff, doesn’t it? “Oh, please fix this. Please get rid of this. Please change this.”
We must be willing to look at ourselves and see that when something happens and a pain comes, we start thinking. And when we start seeing what we think is the problem, even if it’s about ourselves, we start asking for ways to be free of this situation.
When problems come, the real problem is that something has shaken the base of what we think of as being ourselves, and at the root of that shaking there is a feeling of having lost something, of no longer possessing the wherewithal, the qualities, the powers to hold on… and we want to figure out what to do about it.
Over and over and over again we follow a pattern that we’re set up to follow. As the sense of loss comes, we tell ourselves what we need to do to regain possession of ourselves. We do that only to find out that sometimes the very thing we told ourselves would return a sense of well-being to us turns out to be the thing that disturbs us the next time.
The more we identify with that sense of self, the more we’re convinced that what we are asking for is something essential to our freedom. That very asking is secretly confirming the self that is captive -- they are one thing. And, at the root of it is self-love: “Look how important I am. I’m asking to be this. I’m asking to be that. I’m asking you to be this to me. Why? Because if you’ll be this to me, I shall be rewarded by being free of this pain I’m in.” But the “I” that wants to be free of the pain is no different than the thing it’s asking for. It keeps it alive.
You have to have the internal spiritual wherewithal, the courage (and if not the courage, at least the understanding) to do what you’ve never done before. Observe yourself. If you’re intimate with the taste, the color of everything that is going on in a moment of psychological pain, you will see that something in you is asking for different things, or it’s asking for the same things over and over again in different ways, thinking it’s going to find some secret combination in a way to ask.
As this pattern gets clear to you, a wonderful process of disassociation from what has had you “geared up” (a process of disavowal, of detaching yourself completely from everything that comes up inside of you thinking, “I must have this. I must ask for that”), the whole relationship begins to change because you’re now doing what you were intended to do all along, which is to whole-heartedly give up that pained sense of self and its demands.
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