Synopsis: It’s important to pay attention to the things we stress ourselves over, and then to let go, finding a place of acceptance.
Just settling in… back to Costa Rica for the next several months.
We’ve returned to our favourite beach town, got unpacked, and are already indulging in great food and the quiet pace. Off to return the rental car, then… some writing, some swimming, some… well… we shall see!
So, the cosmos has been providing me with opportunities to notice and respond to stressors.
It was a kind of long exit from Canada this time, mostly because we were running around a lot. Darbella’s mom is getting older, and things are starting to slip a bit for her, so we ended up making a few trips to see her.
Parenthetically, on one of those trips, I discovered that, while I can still install a laminate floor, my knees and back are not so happy that I was doing so.
Anyway, of course I have a few ideas about how things ought to be going, regarding, well, pretty much everything. And yet, the cosmos seemed to be having other ideas.
In short order, as more and more things stopped “behaving,” I’d frustrated myself into a minor vertigo attack, which in turn led to a few days of feeling off balance.
How can he tell, right?
The night I gave myself vertigo, I clearly remember lying in bed (of the blow up variety, not the best) and ruminating at length re. what “should” be happening. And it wasn’t! My “back got up,” and my neck was in knots, and then my stomach started grumbling with a good case of acid reflux.
You’d think that would be enough to get a sane person to stop playing mental games, but no!!! All of those tight warnings weren’t enough to get me to stop chewing.
I rolled over, and my world did a little pirouette. I grabbed on to Dar, which of course kept me from flying off the planet.
The rest of the night was spent with my back pressed against the blow up mattress, as I slept on the quite hard yet unmoving laminate floor I’d installed weeks earlier.
It took me a day or two longer to decide that the things I was tightening myself up over were things I really couldn’t do anything about. I finally decided that maybe it was time to have another look at my obvious need to control the uncontrollable.
I see myself doing this regularly. I’ll be looking at something or someone and have the instantaneous urge to judge. Some deep part of me likes the feeling, I guess. And it doesn’t even matter if I’m “right” about what I’m looking at.
Nothing is more important than this: I can only change what I can change, (which, in general, is me) and because of this, my internal obsessions actually only serve one purpose.
They cause me to tighten up, and make myself dizzy.
Now, the alternative is NOT to do nothing about the painful issues we confront. The key learning is that griping or obsessing is not the same thing as doing something. And “This is bad, someone ought to do something” isn’t doing something. Wanting “things” to be different isn’t the same as changing something.
There’s actually something to be said for letting go of our need to “persuade” others of the wisdom of doing things our way. Of simply, for example, “being with” Dar’s mom as she is, as opposed to how I wish she’d be.
Now, sure, If the situation deteriorates and action is actually required, then it is prudent to act. But the place for that is when the time is ripe. Not now.
This is only clear to us when we are not making ourselves miserable because of the non compliance of others.
For me, wisdom is sitting still, listening to myself with compassion, loosening my grip on myself, and working with what is, as opposed to what I wish was there. In that space of warm, compassionate acceptance, much can be accomplished — and oddly, what is accomplished often looks like being at peace.