In the beginning of the pandemic, the urge to jump into bed and pull the covers over our heads until it all went away was a primal response to this fear and uncertainty
But now, 6 months or more into it, that’s no longer a realistic option.
Hiding from our fears only makes them larger
The more we push them away, tuck them into the deep recesses of our minds
The more they come up when we are sleeping
In those moments we are vulnerable
Fighting and raging against all the things
Isn’t helping either
In Pema Chodron’s excellent book “When things fall apart”
“Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
There’s a word we use in mindfulness training called equanimity
Basically it is about accepting that what is
Recognizing when we are hiding
Pushing whatever we don’t like away
Grasping to hold tight what we see as valuable
Seeing ourselves with clear eyes when we are struggling, fighting, denying, judging
And letting that go.
What it is
Without getting caught up in all the drama
The state of equanimity offers us opportunities for peace, even in the center of a storm.
We can’t change the wind
We know that
So why struggle?
It will pass
And another thing will come along
It can be quite amazing how quickly things change when we allow ourselves to stop struggling
Be with it and, with wise attention and practice, clarity and peace show up more often in our lives
We become more resilient, confident, able to roll with whatever comes
With less anticipation of what might be or not
We can develop inner strength, faith, balance and stability of mind.
But how do we cultivate equanimity in times of tumult and chaos?
Making a conscious effort to attend to when you are struggling
When you may be grasping, holding onto an object, a person, even a desired ideal
When we don’t get our way and someone says
“it is what it is”
Does it trigger an urge to struggle?
Yes, it does for me too
And yet that is exactly what we need to remember
Especially in uncertain times when we feel a need for comfort and security
But in truth it is what it is
We can’t make it rain
Nor can we stop the rain from falling
With practice we can see opportunities to adopt equanimity
And feel that sense of faith and balance in our mind
And realize that it really is
What it is
And that’s OK