Breaking through the clouds on an early morning flight in terrible weather was the clearest lesson I have ever had about my emotions.
Lubbock has a special kind of nastiness to its bad weather, everything just feels bleak and desolate out here during different times of the year. On the day of this flight, the world was dark and gray because of a solid cloud cover. I remember that as I walked to the terminal my teeth were gritty because of the flying dirt.
I didn’t even think we would take off, but they let us. There was turbulence and swaying and wanting to throw up for the first few minutes, and it looked like we were flying at night instead of midmorning.
Then, we broke through the clouds, into the middle of bright, beautiful day.
It was calm and clear, and apart from the thick cloud cover below us there was nothing but a bright blue expanse stretching out into the distance,
This was an epiphany or sorts to me, except that epiphanies tend to fade pretty quickly. Maybe it was more of a realization, because it’s never left me.
There is always clear blue sky above us, but sometimes the clouds obscure it.
We are always calm and free, but sometimes our thoughts and emotions obscure it.
This is why a mindful approach to our emotions is important. We have to be able to remember that the clear blue sky is up there no matter how powerful the emotions we are experiencing might be.
I mentioned anger yesterday.
It was very present, and it wanted me to act. It kept pushing me to say something, to do something to validate it and fix the situation. It wanted me to burn something down, to make things right, to stand up for myself, all that stuff.
But, I did not take action.
I acknowledged the anger, made a note to myself that it was present and to be aware that I might be a little more on edge, a little easier to annoy. I reminded myself that sleep has been an issue lately, and this would make the anger seem more real and much more likely to grow. I didn’t listen to the list of grievances and pleas for justice.
I didn’t argue with it either though. Resisting something attaches you to it.
I just didn’t feed it, and it starved. It’s not here today, despite nothing having been resolved. Nothing was even said. It all seems silly now.
This is what a mindful approach to anger allows us. It has nothing to do with me, I’m a pain in the ass.
The cloud cover may feel very real and solid, but it’s always a clear blue sky above it.
That never changes.
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I write, podcast and make videos about living in freedom through mindfulness, intentionality, compassion, and equanimity.
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