29 June 2006

Happiness Held Hostage

So, the last few weeks we've been looking for a new apartment (when I say we, I mean me). I've dragged Stan along for the ride, bedraggled and war weary from my obession. After a particularly grueling day today, I realized a few salient points.

I was not winning this little war with the universe. I was not going to win, because neither winning nor losing has anything to do with the issue at hand. Control is the issue and holding my happiness hostage to the future is the lesson.

Some background... I have been a seeker for as long as I can remember. I have studied, sampled, been blessed, been stripped... and all along the way, I've struggled with this concept of "being in the now." Sounds so simple. Let go. Be here. Be still.

Thank you Eckhart, Gangaji, Ramana, Adyashanti, Byron Katie... my intellect salutes you, my heart doesn't believe a word you're saying.

Well, I guess the universe decided that it was time to step up the heat... to really get to the heart of my identification with story. The story that says that anywhere but HERE is the place to be. That when THIS THING happens, I'll finally find happiness.

When I find the perfect apartment. When I win the Lotto. When I can travel to the Grand Canyon in my retro, $100,000.00 Airstream. When I can build homeless shelters for those who have lost all hope. When I can just help out my own sister.

My thought process was that if I suffer enough, if I plan and hope and dream and tie as many loose ends as possible, I will WIN. YES. WIN. FINALLY!!

But that kind of winning is the ultimate in losing. If my happiness is dependent on anything out THERE, I am a hostage. I am a slave.

Losing what my ego tells me I must have brings me back to myself. Back to my cluttered, anxious little mind, to the Now I don't want to be in. Or do I? Tonight I realized the freedom that comes from "losing."

I will say this... the Now DOES feel vulnerable and strange. I'm so used to fantasizing, to envisioning the future, to rehashing the past. But tonight, after being snippy towards Stan, angry, anxious almost all day... I finally burned enough mental juice to just be here. And without the story about not hearing from so and so, wondering if our most recent application was a mistake, etc., etc., I was actually grooving in the moment. When my mind realized my stomach wasn't clenched anymore, a story would pop up and try to get my total attention and identification. Eckhart calls this the Pain Body. Instead of following the storyline, I imagined big, black blinders on either side of my head (like horses can wear) forcing me to stay present, to not leave this moment. To not travel an imaginary road to some imaginary future.

I don't know if I can say I've come out the other side yet. I won't be that bold. But I have a feel for it.

It's a beginning.

3 comments:

itybtyfrog said...

Very good points. I am a dreamer and a wisher too. I am always dreaming up some idea or way of changing things. I don't often step back and enjoy the moment. This is a lesson we all need to learn I think.

kate said...

april,

i so identify with this stuff. i have finally, only now at 34 yrs. old come to a place *pretty close* to living in the now. . .in certain ways. not all aspects of my life are there, but some are and that feels good. feels like i can use the wind of that success to propel me forward.

and if nothing else i can really watch and study my little toddler. they ONLY know the here and know and can be great teachers of living in the present.

krista said...

Really wonderful post, and food for thought! So nice to read this before starting my day...