Something happened last week that took me totally by surprise.
I’d been feeling really irritated and frustrated for several days, and I thought it was because I hadn’t meditated for two days in a row. I didn’t know what else it could be. So I began my practice again, and began to feel more peace, but there was still an “underground” irritation lurking below the surface.
I pretended it wasn’t there because I didn’t know why it was there. And thought it would just gradually go away.
Until I walked in to pick up some posters I had printed at the local copy shop.
Something snapped in me when I heard they didn’t have the order as I had asked (for the second time). I exploded. I was mean. It was like Medusa was let loose in the store and I became one of those customers that everyone else in the room looks at with astonishment.
Was this happening? It was. And it was real. My mouth just kept going. One thing after the next, and it was as if I was watching it all on a movie screen. My frustration and impatience was leading the conversation.
I walked out stunned. Did that really happen?
I felt like crying, but I didn’t.
Then I felt remorse – that poor woman who I took it out on…
I apologized to her after it sunk in what happened. I could have beaten myself up about it, but I didn’t. I knew something deeper was going on, I just didn’t know what.
Until 4am the next morning.
I woke up and tears started to come – uncontrollable tears.
I was losing something that I love more than anything in the world – my cat Dave. He’s dying (he has kidney disease). It was the first time I felt it in my heart – and the first time I allowed myself to feel the pain of it.
I’d been holding back. I’d been believing if I could just feed him the right food, give him the right amount of love and affection, tell him how great he is, that he’d just keep living. But it didn’t work. He’s still not eating much, and his energy is waning.
He’s dying. At 4am my heart felt like it was broken into a thousand pieces. I was opening to what is, and what is to come (having been through this with my dog Jake 4 years ago). I was surrendering to life, and accepting that I’m not in control. I was letting my heart finally feel the pain of loss. And it hurt. The deep kind of hurt that feels like it’s going to last forever.
And then it subsided for a bit, and then came back, and subsided, and returned.
I cried (actually sobbed) several more times that day. A release, an acknowledgement, a letting go. I accepted, I grieved. He is a being that has been with me through all the ups and downs of the last 12 years. A furry little being that taught me how to open my heart.
By the evening, the tears felt they were done. That night I went to bed actually feeling very at peace. The feeling of frustration and irritation was totally gone.
This is what it means to let life live through you. To not push away what you are feeling, but let it come. It won’t last forever.
I still love him. I still give him gobs of affection every day, this time with a knowing that I’m not in control and it will be his time to move on when he’s ready to.
And I freely let the tears come when they want to come.
The frustration and impatience? It was a symptom of something greater. When you are impatient or frustrated, ask yourself, “What am I holding on to that I don’t want to let go of?” Is it an identity of who you think you are, but you’re not? Is it a person? Is it a place? Is it a job?
May you find the peace within you. Feel. Be with it all. It’s all part of the human experience.
Categories: Heart Centered Living