Deleting the Labels and Expectations…
It’s easy to talk about changes, especially if they are profound shifts in our lives and we can see them. However, when those changes can’t be seen but felt with anxiety, I believe it is allowing fear to take over. We all want and crave for better things.
For a long time after the retreat/motel was gone I felt a sense of displacement. I was a caretaker and loved the social aspect of meeting new folks. But…who I was no longer existed. I was waiting for a bus to arrive to take me elsewhere. I had no clue what the destination or route looked like. It was a feeling of anticipation. No matter how many times I would go hiking, walking, or removed myself from the unknown impatience it seemed to come looking for me. Meditation, contemplation and prayer helped for a little while. Keeping busy seemed to stop the feeling but I needed grounding and avoiding the feeling seemed to put me in a worst twist. It was during those dark moments of uncertainty that I truly learned to be present with the carousel of emotions.
Fear is like that. I read somewhere that fear = false evidence appearing real. If that’s so then the anticipation is a form of an unknown psychosis of my creation. Expectations are egotistical in nature. So, now when those feelings creep up I step back. Whatever it is I need to just invite it in and honor it. I’ve come to the conclusion to just sit with the displacement when it arises. Like Rumi’s poem:
“The Guest House”
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
~ Rumi ~
I’ve learned to sit with each incline, letting me momentarily feel its awareness. That’s all I can do when I can’t find anything else. Being grateful and allowing each visit from the emotions teaches me something. In that space I can finally see that I have a lesson and not feel displaced.
The beauty in our lives is that thoughts live in our perception. When we are conscious and mindful we can receive those feelings as guests: feed them, entertain them for a bit and then send them off on their merry way. Meantime, I remind myself that I am fine and that this, too, shall pass! Tomorrow is a new day. I don’t have to know what is to come (although it would be fantastic). My identity is not who I am but what others place upon me. Expectations create an unreasonable amount of angst and anxiety. The moment I accept that I am just me without labels I feel at home in my own skin.
Have a blessed day!