Last night, I was utterly disappointed that the event here got cancelled. So many friends and family members and retreat students were supposed to come — and of course, my mind had its idea of what that would look like, feel like. And so the disappointment came not only from not seeing everyone and celebrating with them, but from my mind’s idea of what that would be like. Excitement! Good cheer! Love all around!It’s always such an edge: seeing the situation itself and separating that from the reaction to it. I was not a happy camper last night and kept thinking: okay, okay, this is exactly what the messy part of This Messy Magnificent Life is about. What does it feel like to feel disappointment? Where is it located in my body? What’s the difference between the feeling and what’s actually happening? Can I bring myself back from the stories of what it would have been, could have been, should have been to right here? Is it possible to feel utterly disappointed, turn towards it, be soft and kind with it? Can I feel it and not schlep it around for the next many hours, sulking, heavy-hearted? How about accepting it and then going out and playing in the snow!
(I got there eventually, but it took some concentrated attention).
But now, another flip of the switch, another change. Have you noticed that it’s always like this? Just when you think you’ve settled into “the way it is”, the way it is changes. Time to adjust — accept — that something else is happening. (Which is why it’s helpful to develop the muscle of acceptance no matter what. Of feeling intensely and paying attention to the stories we are telling ourselves, based on our feelings, but made up stories nonetheless). The whole thing is humbling!