Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hiding Things in the Dark

Yesterday i discovered a dozen hyacinths growing in a cabinet where i had stored them in the dark in November. And then forgotten about them. Out of sight, out of mind. Those bulbs had sprouted and some had even bloomed!

This is exactly what we do when we suppress feelings and thoughts that we either don't have time for ("I don't want to cry in this meeting at work.") or that we are embarrassed by ("I shouldn't say what i'm really thinking out loud." or "That hurt, but big girls don't cry, so i'm not going to show my true feelings." "Stiff upper lip.")

We hide these suppressed thoughts and feelings in a dark cabinet, shut the door, and forget about them (or try to forget about them). [This is called repression.]

If we are successful at forgetting about them, these thoughts and feelings will "bloom" as projections onto other people. We truly cannot see that the person we are so upset with out there is actually ourself. We really believe that it's all about "them." It never is.

Equanimity helps us ride the waves, yes, even the tidal waves and tsunamis of our emotions. The pain comes, and it goes. Really. Really.

Finding our balance is daily life is an on-going practice of equanimity.

The 8 Worldly Winds

Pleasure and pain,
Gain and loss,
Praise and blame,
Fame and disrepute

Come and go like the wind.

Rest like a great tree
in the midst of them all.

          --the Buddha

Photo from National Geographic


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