And all at once, I remembered something I learned years ago when I first started meditating at INSIGHT LA. It went something like this: the guarantee you give yourself that you are right about your feelings is only a message from you ego that you may very well be wrong.
When that still, small voice of instinct becomes more of a bellow, setting you against your fellow, equally flawed humanoids, you know you are setting yourself up for constriction and isolation, and this will never serve you. It may serve you to have your little martyrdom soap box on which to stand on for a few minutes in front of your mirror or in the ears of a trusted friend who might listen, but it will never get you a) validation, b) peace or c)resolution.
When I am sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that the other person is wrong, I best ask myself what part of me is telling me that. Usually it is the part that got hurt or scared by the actions or thoughts of the other. Once I start understanding THAT, I calm down. My soap box dissolves. Breath returns, through tears sometimes, yes, but often with a giggle too, and a definite dropping of the now tight shoulders. I am then left at square one, but now with a more in the moment, authentic take on the situation itself.
In the second of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, an ancient philosophical text, it says “yoga chitta vritti nirodha.” There are variations on how this statement is translated from the Sanskrit, but a common interpretation is “yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” In other words, we are practicing yoga in order to achieve a stillness, and possibly avoid the panic attacks that we can easily give ourselves by sticking to our sides of the story. This practice of yoga is in the capitol Y form of yoga, the ideas and not the acrobatics.
Just stuff to think about maybe as we move into the new year: from whom do you want to hear your lessons, your unresolved past or from your less mercurial take on the present? Either choice is okay, and in truth, they are both hard. They both cause some amount of suffering. The second option though will invariably buy you more time on this earth in joy and ease.