Yesterday I experienced such a surge of anger at a loved one. The feelings arose with such intensity I was truly surprised. This person first did not want to participate in an activity we had re-scheduled because at the earlier scheduled time, she had changed her mind. Now she had a good reason but still I was annoyed. Then she spoke in a way I experienced as very unkind and harsh. I felt the sensations flood my body yet have trained myself not to react. I am super aware of the painful feeling of separation that invariably arises when I react in anger. I let the feelings pass through me. I remembered how when I am in a bad mood this person often kindly overlooks my irritation and snappiness. Yet for a few moments it felt like I was arm wrestling an alligator. I really wanted to tell her how wrong she was. I notice how this loved one one is a world class master at my buttons and thank her for showing me where they are. Very few people can still create reactivity within me so I have to give the Mystery a point for this one. I love viewing this as a game, takes the seriousness out.
I often speak in the mindfulness group at the jail about the gap between stimulus and response. If we are not trained, we often have reacted to an uncomfortable stimulus before we know what hit us. We have shouted, yelled, criticized before we even know what we are doing. Mindfulness, witnessing gives us a gap between what happens and how we are able to respond, where we can make a conscious choice. At first it feels hard yet not to have that painful wash of separation flood our bodies makes the vigilance a small price to pay. Ultimately we commit to the love revolution as it is the only choice that ALWAYS feels good.
image: turns out there is actual alligator wrestling, who knew?