One of the most important things one can learn is that we are all soaking up each others’ energies all the time. The bath we’re all in together is filled with the water and bubbles which arise out of love for ourselves and each other, but is also littered with waste. We are all excreting our emotions, like toddlers wee-ing in a pool, without much thought or consciousness.
“Don’t let me give you my limitations” my brother says to me whenever I ask him his opinion on a personal matter. He understands that whenever he expresses his opinions it comes from his limited understanding of himself. Understanding yourself is the key to understanding the world. Make no mistake about it. How do we make sense of the world around us? Through our own senses, (our lenses to the world) which are unfortunately, limited (or foggy), unless you’re enlightened.
Imagine if you have no time to stop and sense stuff?
In the modern world, we’re in too much a rush to stop and smell the roses or to even realise we have aching joints or are holding onto tension in our chests (from a broken heart perhaps) or that the reason we won’t give the time of day to people we judge lesser than ourselves is not our own experiences with them but what we inherited from our parents.
To know yourself is to know others and we all owe it to everyone around us to know ourselves, but that’s another story. With very little time to ourselves to reflect on our senses and feelings, how are we to have a healthy and balanced view of the world?
And many of us don’t have a positive relationship with reality. That is, we reject reality. We judge it, can’t make peace with it and it becomes unacceptable to us.
Our inner space, where we hold our reality, is constantly under attack.
Well-meaning people, be it friends, family and the not-so-well-meaning folks like marketers and the news media who gain by manipulating people, are invading your inner space, preventing you from making decisions that will be best suited to your reality.
We can see why marketers and the news media might want us to act a certain way. After all, they have money to gain from our engagement with whatever it is they’re selling, but friends and family? Why would they want to manipulate us? Let me assure you. They don’t do it consciously. Or sometimes they think they’re helping.
But they’re not helping. No one can help you but you. They are also hurting themselves. Their focus is going outwards to problems they cannot solve on your behalf.
The Attack of the Space Invaders
You know when you’re doing your best and your best isn’t very good? You could be trying to draw something for your child or even trying to park between the lines and somehow it’s not good. What do you do?
If you’re like me, you talk about it.
The thing I’m trying to master that I suck at in the present is the perfect cup of Turkish coffee.
Turkish coffee is all about the foam. You must catch the coffee just at the right time as the boiling brown mixture rises to the top of the cezve (the small copper pot with the long handle we use to make Turkish coffee). Just as water, finely ground Arabic coffee and sugar are ingredients, so are heat, time and patience in producing the perfect cup of Turkish coffee.
I find the practice of trying to catch the foam at the perfect spot to pour a perfect cup of Turkish coffee meditative. It’s something that requires skill and mastery.
“I can’t get the foam right” I caught myself complaining to one of my frien-emies one day.
“Oh really? You must practice patience” was her response. I could feel my energy getting drained by the conversation already. She was judging me short of patience.
“OK, do you have any tips? Like how low must the fire be? Approximately how long should it take? What about the volume of coffee? Would it be easier to produce foam if I were making two cups of coffee as opposed to one or perhaps three cups?” these were all the questions I was hoping she would address.
“Only the patient can make the perfect cup of coffee” Hmm… So I was impatient and I could never master the fine art of Turkish coffee. Exasperated by her attacks on my patience (and feeling my space invaded) I offered a solution to my problem.
“Maybe I should just get one of those damn electric coffee makers.” I was baiting her to see if she’d change her mind about me and acknowledge that I could muster up patience and wasn’t a complete a lost cause.
“Oh yes! You should. Let me order you one!” This was not where I was expecting this conversation to go. I certainly did not want anyone ordering me a frickin electric coffee maker. I was up to my ears with useless appliances in my house. How dare she buy me something I could very well buy myself?
“I don’t want a damn electric coffee maker!” There, I’d lost my patience.
“I can practice and catch the foam, thank you! And why don’t you have more respect for my patience?”
I suppose I’d just answered my own question and decided to simmer the fuck down after having depleted my emotional energy over literally nothing. But she was parsley you see. How dare she try to solve my foam problem by offering to buy me a useless appliance that I could just as easily purchased myself…
“Many of the faults you see in others, dear reader, is your nature reflected in them” – Rumi
I was not centred. That’s the truth of it. Every time you talk to an emotional person or one with judgments about you, pick up your phone, check e-mails, get into social media, take a few deep breaths. Calm the fuck down. Ground yourself.
There’s a meditation Pippa Neve guided us through this past Sunday at Fit Gym in Lane Cove as part of her weekly meditation class. You visualise a golden shield around your body. This is to protect you from others’ problems taking you over. It’s to remind you that you can only take care of you, not others’ problems. It’s also to allow you to listen without judgment, being there without jumping in and hijacking their space.
At least I know now.
So no matter if friends are stressed, children crying their heads off, my golden bubble protects me from letting energetic invasions drain me. It helps me listen without feeling like I have to do something. This is so hard for me. I don’t know how this dysfunction developed in me but I think I have the answer to everyone’s problems.
Shit! no one does.
The best we can do is try to come up with some answers to our own problems.
Like why am I so parsley?
Maybe it’s all those expectations put on my shoulders by parents who didn’t listen when I made it obvious I was burnt out during my teenage years. So I pro-actively try to save everyone else from being in that position in a fucked up way that places me back in the position of a burnt-out teenager.
Visualise the golden bubble. That’s all I gotta do. Easier said than done when one gets stuck in the parsley mindset.
Over to you…
When was a time you took on someone else’s fight and what results did that bring?