Hello my fellow human Beings:
Life, as we all know, has its ups and downs. Life seems easy when we are dealing with the ups, but what about when we are faced with the downs?
What do you do when life dishes you heartaches, headaches and backaches?
Life has its share of disappointments and problems – a failed or troubled relationship, a lost job, an accident, a breakdown, a break-up.
When life throws these curve balls at you (and it will from time to time), do you stay engulfed in the fog of negative emotions and thoughts? Do you worry, whine and wallow? Do you get lost in replaying the past events over and over again or do you long for a different future?
Although some religions believe in an afterlife or rebirth into new lives, the truth is, we won’t be the same person in body and mind as we are in this one life we are living now.
So is there a better way to deal with life’s disappointments than praying for a different tomorrow?
Yes, we can be still, present and connected. We can just sit with the negative feelings (and all the bodily pains) without getting lost in them. We can be a silent observer, rather than a judgmental critic. We can be aware and be mindful of what is going on inside and outside without getting submerged in the strong emotions of grief, anger, sadness, fear, anxiety, worry, etc. We can just be grounded in the here and the now and let the fog dissipate to reveal the clear path forward.
In Peace is Every Breath, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hahn reminds us that we can ride out life’s storms using our meditation practice. He states:
“[A]n emotion is only that – an emotion – even though it may be a big, strong one. You are so much bigger, so much more than this emotion. …Look at strong emotions as a kind of storm. If we know weatherproofing techniques, we can come out of it intact. A storm may last an hour, several hours, or a day. If we master the ways of calming and steadying our mind, we can pass through the storms of emotion with relative ease.”
So you have a choice to make when faced with life’s storms of disappointment, you can either:
(A) get subsumed in the strong emotions and negative thoughts replaying in an endless loop pattern and get thrashed around in the storm, OR
(B) you can use your meditation practice to be calm, be aware of the strong emotions, and realize that you are more than those emotions, negative thoughts and unfortunate circumstances.
How will you choose to live your one life to live?
Abundantly, I hope.