Recently, I discovered a parable shared by Thich Nhat Hanh in his book How To Relax. It goes something like this:
“The Buddha was having a silent lunch with his monks in the woods. A farmer came hurrying by and asked if they had seen his cows, which had left him that morning. It appeared the farmer was suffering greatly. The Buddha, upon seeing how distraught the farmer was, compassionately told the farmer they had not seen his cows. Once the farmer left, the Buddha turned to his monks and said, “Dear monks, you are very lucky. You don’t have any cows to lose.”
In one of my recent posts, I wrote about not letting fear take the wheel and steer and instead to let the Divine take the wheel. As I ponder this further, I don’t think I got it quite right.
I’ve been thinking back to my Getting Still post about the fear based stories our minds tell us and to filter our thoughts with Love to get to the truth. When I think about it now, this filtering process is really about listening to our intuition. And I’m beginning to believe that our intuition is an inner knowing that comes from our connection to the Divine. It’s this inner knowing we must trust to take the wheel and steer because the Divine doesn’t do the driving.
Last summer, I made an expensive mistake. I was itching to get something done and instead of pausing to make sure I was doing the right thing, I reacted to my itch.
My mistake cost me a lot of money. Since then, I’ve hired someone to fix my error. I’ve put my trust in him. He knows what he’s doing and he’s waiting patiently for the right moment to do the right thing. When all this happened, my brother told me I was in Ready-Fire-Aim mode. I fired away without taking the time to aim.
I realize now I’ve lived parts of my life this way. I don’t take the time to aim before I fire and I end up in situations where I look around and think “Damn! How do I get myself out of this one?”
At the beginning of 2020, I wrote a post about no longer fighting reality and instead accepting the way things are. I’ve been thinking how ironic it is that I posted this just before COVID hit. Like my post, When the Rubber Hits the Road, once again, I’ve had to practice what I preach.
COVID is a hard reality to accept. It has made a number of things difficult, one of which for me is dating. With positive cases on the rise again, I suspect places will shut down as they did in the spring and I dread facing the winter alone. I’ve made some strong efforts to find someone, but as hard as I try, it hasn’t happened. My mind then goes into fear mode that maybe I will never find someone. The uncertainty of it all makes me push harder, putting myself on more dating apps and reaching out to more and more guys on them. I feel myself fighting to find someone.
And then as I was on my way to work the other day, I heard these lyrics from the song “Drive” by Incubus:
“Sometimes, I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear And I can’t help but ask myself how much I’ll let the fear Take the wheel and steer”
Song lyrics often speak to me like a voice from above. During difficult times, their words both soothe and encourage me. They often have a way of expressing what I am feeling much more poetically that I ever could.
Over the past few months, a few things have happened that have been particularly difficult for me, which brought to mind the lyrics from the song “Every Breaking Wave” by U2. I’ve made an attempt here to weave them into my own writing. I’m not sure if what I’ve written will only make sense to me. If you have any helpful comments, please leave them below. I welcome your thoughts.
“Every breaking wave On the shore Tells the next one There’ll be one more”
Grief is an odd thing. I feel good and strong one day and the next it hits me like a wave. Grief’s strong current pulls me back in. I don’t think it ever really goes away. It just recedes for a while. Lurking. Waiting. Then, when I least expect it, it comes crashing in.
Do you ever find when you give advice about something, you’re often then put into a situation to practice what you preach?
Happens to me all the time.
So, a little while after I posted Getting Still about the fear based stories our minds create and how to filter them with Love to get to the truth, I was confronted with something to practice this new way of being.
Because of the pandemic, I’ve been spending a lot of time alone–much more than I’d like to be. It feels like my life has hit the pause button. It reminds me of when I first left my former husband. At that point in time, the song of my life needed to change and spending time alone to pause gave me the space to think about what I wanted the next song to be.
I wrote about this pause between being married and not married in a post on the Mudroomblog.com called “Silence is Where the Magic Happens“. And although the circumstances are different today, the pandemic has created a similar pause. What’s different now, though, is that this one is collective. We are all in this one together.
I’m a recovering benefit of the doubt giver. I’ve given someone the benefit of the doubt more often than I should have. I’ve given someone the benefit of the doubt even after my spidey sense had perked up, made me pause and think–wait…what? I’ve given someone the benefit of the doubt even when they clearly weren’t being kind or didn’t share my values. Why? Because I’m also a recovering people pleaser. Let’s just say these two traits haven’t always been a winning combination for me. So, I’m in recovery.
I was set on this recovery path by a quote I recently discovered from Maya Angelou:
When someone shows you who they are, believe them; the first time.”