When life kicks you down, it's easy to get caught in the narrative that ensues. Why me? I'm so stupid! What's wrong with me? My life is so hard!
I've been caught in the story of life being overwhelming, but I have to remind myself that now is all I have.
Yes, the past few months have been particularly stressful, and yes, I have many anxieties about the future. But what about now, the only moment that's real? Am I here, present, able to experience this moment? Or am I somewhere else?
The truth is, I've been caught in my story lately. Very, very caught. And it shows. I've had a short fuse, and am triggered by things that simply did not trigger me before. I've strayed so far from my center, and the effects are obvious.
As I reflect on this shift, it's yet another reminder that when left unchecked, the mind will wreak dangerous havoc. I better be careful. You should too.
Life is giving me a reminder on why it's so important to remain centered, to keep up with your practices, and to be mindful at all times.
We must remain the witness of our hearts and minds as they go through their natural perturbations. Otherwise, when we stop watching, we become consumed by their energy.
Like a tennis ball inside of a clothes dryer, we get tossed around, unable to escape the cycle. The way out is to remember that we're watching the ball, and that we are not the ball.
Fail to watch the stress, and you'll become the stress.
These past few months, I've let down my guard and have watched less and less. I've let my mind take control, and subsequently have lost my center on many occasions. Luckily I still recognize that I'm in here, and that I'm having trouble.
Perhaps this recognition is enough to keep me grounded. I may be caught in a tangled mess of a thousand stories, none of which serve me, but at least I'm aware that I'm caught. That's enough to put all the stories to rest, just that awareness that I'm caught.
Live with substance!