2.2
July 24, 2014

Change Sucks. But It’s a Good Suck.

trees along fence autumn leaves

“Should you desire great tranquility, prepare to sweat white beads.” ~ Hakuin

I’m aware that there are things I need to change in my life in order to become a more peaceful person. I even know what I need to do to achieve that change. But when the situation arises wherein I can put that change into action, I often don’t.

Sound familiar?

Case in point: One weekend not long ago, I had an entire delicious day all to myself. After a long week of childcare, work, and house chores, I was practically vibrating with excitement that I could unwind and do whatever it was my heart desired. No one needed me to be, do, think, say, act, assist…

It was rare. Intoxicating.

So, I flipped on the television to watch a film that was as yet undecided. As I scanned the myriad movie channels, both live and streaming, I began to realize the day was speeding past and there was nothing I wanted to see. I mean, everything was pissing me off with its trite, derivative stupidity.

Even the documentaries I previewed seemed canned and self-important.

I started getting that old familiar uncomfortable, “the universe is against me” feeling that usually manifests itself as crankiness and sniveling. But I pressed on (literally), eventually choosing a Benedict Cumberbatch vehicle as my afternoon entertainment. (Really, I just wanted to find out what all the Cumberbuzz was about. Now I know. Sheesh.)

I sat down on the couch with my ginger ale…and was immediately descended upon by not one but two love-starved cats. Love me!

One head-butted my drink-holding hand. Pay attention to me! The other poked at me with a paw as if to say, “Ahem, I’m over here.” Now in full-blown discomfort and frustration, I went to the bathroom to get some peace. But no. I was followed by the cat who thinks anyone who goes to the toilet is really there to turn on the sink faucet for her to have a drink.

I neeeeeed yoooouuuu!

Somewhere in the middle of turning on the perfect sink-trickle for kitty, collapsing back on the couch in tears, and losing my mind completely, I had a thought: Sit with this feeling.

And so I did.

It sucked. I hated the fiberglass-like itchiness in my chest. The swelling of volcanic lava between my ears. After a moment, I lifted the hand that a moment ago I wanted to put through plate glass…and pet the cat. Then I took her in my lap and gave her as much love as I thought she needed to finally curl up at my side, which she did. Then I did the same to the other cat.

Finally. Peace.

I realized how easy it is to not change. To let old behaviors that do not serve me simply take over. How excruciating it is to sit and face my discomfort. But once I did face it, I saw how little it was.

I saw my ego having a temper tantrum because things didn’t go its way. That’s all. And in the end, tapping into my loving self helped soothe my ego. Not to mention a couple of cats.

Where might you face some discomfort you have? Can you learn to walk the talk in your own life? If so, where might that be?

 

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Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Aurimas at Flickr 

 

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