You know how last week I realised it's all about the journey, well the question that has plagued me during difficult times, is how to be with 'what is' - with the journey as it's unfolding - when we don't like 'what is'?
It's easy enough to enjoy and appreciate the 'good times', the happy times, even the times when we are just cruising along - no particular ups or downs, just cruising so to speak; content.
But what about the potholes, like the one I hit on Tuesday, that you're just about to crawl your way out of but lose your footing?
Yesterday I felt like there was no way out of that pothole.
It was one of those days where I couldn't wait for night to come so I could go to bed and escape the pain in my belly and my mind. I replayed those same unanswerable questions of years gone by over and over, hoping that I'd discover a new insight, a way forward, a step to take in the 'right' direction, something to ease the suffering.
But all it did was keep me stuck in the hole.
I wanted to get out but I didn't know how. There was no hope left to propel me up and onto not-so-shaky ground.
Today I am none the wiser re answers to the seemingly unanswerable questions I have about my health and the pain, but after listening to Pema Chodron, I have been able to climb out of the pothole and with hindsight, see what I was doing that was keeping me stuck.
In a talk on freeing ourselves from 'fixed-mind', from the recording called Walking the Walk, she says that we think things are solid - our mind fixates, freezes things.
We get triggered or 'hooked' and our mind finds it difficult to let go. Our mind becomes fixed. Frozen. We think that thoughts and feelings and life itself are solid, when they're actually not - they're fluid.
Somehow this morning I was able to see that I had been doing this. That yesterday my mind became fixated on the feelings of despair and uncertainty. I was hooked and got carried away with the seven-year story of my ill-health and thoughts of no end, no hope filled me with fear. I felt paralysed - like there was no way out of the hole, and even if there was, what was the point?
I was in 'fixed-mind', and thanks to Pema Chodron, not only did I realise that, I was reminded that our thoughts and feelings are fluid and changing.
As is life - it is change. My health status changes. The pain changes. My thoughts and feelings about my health change.
But for some reason yesterday I did a really good job of solidifying and as a result, suffering.
She finishes up with what I consider to be very good news - that our natural state of mind is open and that we can return to open-mind in any moment and at any time. That open-mind exists and is part of our natural state is for me, an extreme comfort. As is the knowledge and wisdom that everything is fluid and changing.