Slow Down

Today I want to explore the struggle I have had with the near constant feeling that I must hurry. It is an urgency that rests in every level of my being. It is hard to even rest and relax because I feel I must “hurry and get it done”. There is always a feeling that what I am currently doing isn’t good enough and there are more important things to do. Even if what I am doing is quite important, I feel even more urgent as if not hurrying will cause me to fail or miss something vital. The opposite is true. When I hurry, I am not able to think as clearly, so I make more mistakes and take longer.

There are certainly times when there are deadlines and even emergencies. But hurrying does not help the process. If I make more mistakes and take longer, this would not be a good thing in either situation. It could even cause harm.

I once heard, “Late is late, why agitate?” It makes sense, but it has been hard to put into regular practice. I tend to always feel like I am running late, even when I don’t know what for. I dislike being late or falling behind. But it does sometimes happen, despite good planning. I find that when I can stay calm and accepting, I am able to get more done and accomplish the task more completely, in a shorter period of time than when I get panicked and rushed. Sometimes I even surprise myself by finishing on or ahead of time even when I thought I would be late—when I am at peace.

I can see situations and people that may have taught me the behavior of being tense and hurried. I hold no bad feelings for any of them. All brought me to the lesson I am learning now. It is time for those old patterns to fall away. They have served me well. They were meant to protect me and others. I can see a better way now. I want to try the way of peace, calm and acceptance. If it doesn’t work out, I can always go back to hurrying and trying to control everything.

Glorifying being busy and in a rush is the way many in society cope with life, not knowing a better way. For me, I can see that this causes more mistakes, lost opportunities and creates mental and physical disharmony. I will do it differently no and pray that the hurried ones I encounter will find peace also.

Facing Fear with Equanimity

 

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Every person is the same at their essence. This is a truth that many accept as a basic concept of life, but it can be very hard to put the concept down and keep this truth in mind in actual life practice. Our emotions (and other people’s emotions) can begin to cloud this truth. We all experience positive and negative emotions. Yet, when we feel a negative emotion, such as fear or anger towards another person, we lose sight of that person’s positive emotions and traits. The same happens when we feel strong positive emotions toward a person. We forget that they have negative emotions that lead them to negative actions. Either way, we have forgotten the truth that this other human is exactly the same at the core of their being.

When we experience fear toward another person that often becomes anger, outrage or hatred. Because we are afraid, we often tell ourselves only negative things about the person. The more we do this, the more the person seems less like a human being and more like a demon, a monster, or a villain. We only make them seem more frightening and we only become more afraid and unable to handle ourselves. This creates a combative stance within us and makes us feel terrible, not to mention that it only worsens the possibility of handling the situation well.

Slowing down a bit when we see a negative response arise in ourselves can give us the few seconds we need to remind ourselves that the other person has positive emotions (and traits) that you may have been unable to notice right in the moment. They are human. Somebody loves them deeply. They hurt and feel fear also. They were once a baby, pure and clean. Seeing all these things can help the mind to let go of the dark curtain and see the other person as simply human. No better than, no worse than, but the same as us all.

It seems we all have a person or a situation that sends our thoughts racing with an emotional extreme. While any emotional extreme can send us reeling, we can recognize that they all pass and wait them out so that we can see the truth behind the clouds.