Most of us would like to deal with life's problems with calmness and understanding. Instead we find ourselves reacting and becoming upset. The more upset we become the more resentful we become toward others. We become impatient with them and then we become impatient with ourselves. Soon we start to blame others for our lack of control.
Of course, this is unfair to others. So they react to us. Soon family and relationship problems escalate. Once the process begins, we don't know how to stop it. Either we explode at one another or we repress our hostilities until we are seething volcanoes. All this repressed material soon erupts in other symptoms.
When we can't control ourselves, then we look to experts to control us. Soon we are their subjects, paying dearly for their treatments which never really seem to make us better. Individuals, families, and the whole world is brimming over in anger and upset. Fortunately there is a real answer to your problem. It focuses on the moment of reaction, when you succumb to some stress.
Look at it another way. If you could learn to be calm in the moment of stress (without expressing or repressing impatience, anger or upset), you would not add any fuel to the fire. Calmness and reason could be brought to bear, and you might even have a good laugh. In order to solve your problem, you must learn to have an attitude of alert preparedness. When the moment of stress arrives, you will be ready for it already graced with calmness and understanding. Now, you will have a twinkle in your eye, meeting the moment with understanding. You will now influence the moment instead of the moment influencing you.
The way to be prepared to meet life with understanding is through a proper meditation. This meditation is learning how to go in a room, close the door, and become still. By learning to be still (instead of lost in thought), you will rediscover your intuition, a wordless way of knowing. You were close to your intuition when you were a little child. But you fell away from it when you were upset and emotionalized. Now it is time to refind it.
We have all been given good advice about following our deepest instincts, trusting our gut, and doing what we know in our heart is right. We knew that such advice was true, yet we doubted it and went the way of intellect and emotions. Now, after years of error, most of us don't even know how to get back in touch with intuition.
That is why the proper meditation is so important. Through this practice, you will learn how to refind your intuition. When you do, you will rediscover a healthy awareness, common sense, and a way of knowing that is far superior to intellect. Moreover, you will be able to download (so to speak) enough calmness and understanding to meet the day's vicissitudes.
What most of us do, on the other hand, is go out into the world and react to something. The rest of the day is spent playing catch up. Plus, there is left over baggage from previous upsets which carries over into the next interaction. Already upset we feel anxious and impatient. When someone (like our child, for example) comes along, we react impatiently and upset him. Then we feel guilty and perhaps become too nice as a compensation. Soon others start to walk over us, and this upsets us too.
It is much better to allow reason and patience to lead the way. When you begin the day with a commitment to knowing and flowing from the Truth in each moment, you become less subjective, less suggestible, and less “upsetable".
All that remains is to learn this marvelously simple ancient technique. All that is needed is a sincere desire to know the Truth which is greater than you are, and a willingness to admit your wrong.
The secret to alert preparedness is to get out of being lost in excessive thought and imagination. Look carefully and you will see that whenever we fail in reality (by becoming upset, angry, greedy or resentful) we retreat into thought. We replay the scene in our mind and we fantasize about ways of justifying our over-reaction. Thought becomes a refuge and a comfort from dealing with life.
Unfortunately, the more we escape into fantasy, the less prepared we are to meet the next moment with composure and reason.
What is wrong with most of us now is that we are lost in our thinking. All it takes is one good upset, and we walk around reliving the past, worrying, planning and scheming about the future. Being lost in thought makes us unprepared for the next moment which catches us without love and understanding.
Patience and understanding are not to be found in the past or future. They are found in the Eternal Now. Patience and understanding are not to be found in fantasy. They are found in the Reality of the present moment.
Our thoughts make us selfish because most of our plans and schemes are attempts to make up for past failings. We compensate for our lack of grace and understanding with thinking. Others can see the self-serving nature of our plans and schemes. Those with true perception can see that we don't really have love.
A proper meditation involves observing thought, which is a far cry from from being involved in thought or blanking thought. We must have the courage to observe what is there. But in the past, you became upset by the vicious or morbid thoughts. Struggling with them only makes them stronger. Just as cruel people seem to gain strength from your resentful reactions to them, so likewise do thoughts which upset and drain you.
The answer is to observe thought from a detached neutral standpoint.
Learn more at http://www.commonsensecounseling.org
Roland Trujillo M. S. is Director of the Center For Common Sense Counseling and host of a popular San Francisco radio program that offers personal growth strategies and help with relationship and stress issues. Roland’ also hosts The Roland Trujillo Show on KCAA Radio in Riverside and San Bernardino. Roland has been on the air for over 18 years. He has helped many people overcome emotion-based problems that have a component of resentment, unforgiveness, and judgment.