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I have to be rid of these...

They are the gateway to a miserable existence for me. And for me, it all starts with restlessness.

I don’t see it coming. For me, it is usually boredom that kicks off something inside me that conjures up an immediate need to “fix” it. And those two thoughts, coupled together, make me instantly vulnerable to seeking solutions instead of soulutions. Meaning I seek from outside myself instead of from within.

I think that you, or him, or that, or this is going to make it better. That thing, this action, this acquisition is going to settle down the restlessness...and I am always right in my wrongness. Whatever I grab at to settle me down, appears to work at first blush. That cookie or piece of chocolate. Those new shoes. A date. A new pair of jeans. A new book. All of the above engender in me a changed attitude but it is not lasting. It is fleeting, setting me up to be irritable.

Once the irritability sets in, there is really no stopping it. I will fully own that irritability kicks my ass on an almost daily basis. I am off and running, trying to buy more, get more, feel different and I am using all the wrong things to bring about the internal change that I so desire. And when it stops working...I am understandably upset.

Once the failure of my actions is apparent, I shift into discontentedness where despondency sets in. This would be where I used to take a drink to settle myself down. Today, I do a number of other things to distract myself from the cycle I find myself in. None of them work long term...but I try them repeatedly nevertheless.

So how do I rid myself of RID?

Seems like I should have a ready answer here and I guess I do...but in reality, I am still baffled a great deal of the time. I know the answer is a spiritual one...that knowledge, however, does not afford me an immediate willingness to turn toward all things Divine. Most of the time, I do all the things I usually do when I begin feeling restless...only harder, faster, better. Which is dumb, because if it didn’t work earlier, why would I think it would work now???

I used to have the practice that when I was dis-eased I would go sit on my meditation cushion and wait for it to pass. My children can tell you that I used to run towards it when they were younger. Their mother a flash running through the living room towards serenity. I always found it...even if sometimes it took awhile for me to get there.

I stopped doing that...I am not sure even when. Stopped running toward soulution and instead turned towards empty solutions that bring only immediate gratification and really nothing else. Lasting still peace alluding me...due to my insistence that more temporal solutions will suffice.

What I am coming to understand is that RID is not there just to remind me that I do not like feeling RID. It is there to remind me that I am off my spiritual beam...restlessness, irritability and discontentedness are the harbingers of hope...showing me that I am in need of solace, comfort and a good long conversation with my Higher Power.

The only thing that stands in my way is me. Always. I can label it work, kids, dishes, pets, to do lists...but the creator of all of that being more important than my internal spiritual structure, is yours truly.

I am coming to see that RID is something that I will never be rid of...they are teachers all, each one more insistent than the one before, showing me that I am in need of spiritual salve. Showing me that I am heading into a chain reaction that is epic but avoidable...if I want it to be.

I have a choice. I can go with the progression of restlessness giving way to irritability, to a generalized state of discontentedness. Or I can notice when the restlessness appears to take myself to the cushion until the restlessness passes. This appears to be the only way to stop the endless cycle of suffering for myself and others...

One more time, it is not like I think it is going to be. There is nothing outside myself that is ever going to address my internal state in a lasting and significant fashion. One would think I would understand this by now...but I have this pervasive amnesia about all things spirit related. A blankness that seems to grow like a cancerous growth over night while I sleep. Which is why, every day must begin with a routine designed to align my will with spirit. Anything less and I am off to the RID races which never, ever get me where I want to go...

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