Music does actually play all the time in my head, long before Ipods and Pandora my brain was generating randomly related songs on continuous play, even including a few commercials. (“I’d like to teach the world to sing,” for one) I don’t get to turn it on or off with a switch but it also never runs out of charge three lines into a favorite song.
Meditating is about the only time I am music free, not all the time mind you, staying with my breath is often beyond me, on those days I add an external meditation soundtrack to direct my mindfulness, because I have learned what works and doesn’t work for me. I think that is truly one of the gifts of age, accumulated experience makes it clearer what works and what fails us.
One of the things that truly doesn’t work for me, and fails its perpetrator as well, is extreme flailing drama over romantic rejection or a job you don’t like or just plain feeling you aren’t getting enough attention. Some people mess with my serenity, I have shenpa with their drama. You know the kind of person that threatens suicide or mass homicide or dramatically cuts a swath through multiple friendships with a bladed sharp tongue and then refuses to take any responsibility for themselves, I get real angry and frustrated with them, and seriously want to make them just go away out of my life.
I bring that up as a counterpoint to the other thing that doesn’t work for me, how willing we are as a culture to avert our eyes from those in real need. We look away from the man with the sign, the person with disease as if we had no responsibility to help if we judge them unfit. My meditation practice and my work with TuTu’s book on Forgiveness has made it abundantly clear to me that I do that with those I consider petty or shallow.
Today when one of those humans I have heretofore abhorred began throwing venom and drama like a sprinkler does water, instead of rising to their bait and throwing one more rejection on the pile by permanently blocking them, I took a deep breathe and offered what I had to give of love and compassion.
I probably should have added the preamble to this brief narrative. Two of my close friends have lost their parents to illness in the last few months; while three of the most kind, generous and hard working women I know are quietly going through the journey known as cancer. One of them is in the treatment finished but still rebuilding the devastation of the cure while waiting, testing, not knowing if its back place place that all of us who have been on the other side of the desk for both good and bad news can empathize with; and one is healing from yet another surgery caused be yet another recurrence. As I am familiar with both of these milestones on this journey I am doing my best to pay forward the love and support various friends and the universe have provided me on my sojourn and be there if needed. These friends are very busy living; they express gratitude and joy and faith publicly while working through the frustration, grief and anger of the physical, financial and emotional toll cancer takes privately. I also have a third friend going for her first biopsy tomorrow.
And I just want to make rent and find a way to register my car while staying healthy enough to keep working.
So I think accepting today that someone else’s pain whose parents are alive and well, has a job, is healthy and just didn’t get their own way, is as legitimate to them as ours is a really, really big step forward for me.
She ain’t heavy, she’s my sister…….
ALL judgement aside.
But I am not so far into my growth that I didn’t breathe a sigh of relief when she got mad at me for being “too Pollyanna” and deleted our friendship. With any luck she will also block me so I can’t see her posts on our mutual friends pages.
I know, I will now go focus and breathe.