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The Ripple Effect of Over Reacting...

Sometimes I am not the best person to mediate my own emotions.  Sometimes I get overwhelmed and thrown about by the hard driving and quick coming feelings that often seem to come out of nowhere.


It has taken me a long fucking time to see that what happens in this life is not made better by strong emotional reactivity.  And just because I have strong feelings, doesn’t mean that I have to allow them to control what happens next.


I love today’s photo because it so aptly describes what really happens in my life.  Something, rather small and insignificant (and I don’t say this to minimize the significance of things that happen in my life, just that the things that happen aren’t personal...they are just things that happen in everyone’s life) happens and I allow it to reverberate throughout my system.  It is my thoughts about why they happen and what they signify that causes me to have the attendant emotional backlash.


And with every action, there is the ripple effect.  Well, if I am a body of water...which I am, I mean we are made up of a great percentage of water (60% for adult men and 55% for adult women)...contained in this fleshy human suit.  But I can see that there isn’t a physical ripple effect in my life because I am not water.  I am a being in motion, living this life, so the ripple effect doesn’t completely apply to me.  Unless I let it.


Truth is that the droplets of life that happen to me, land on my skin and roll off...except when I take distinctive and direct action to assure that there is an attendant ripple effect.


I am not saying that I, or anyone else, should not be effected by the events of one’s life.  Quite to the contrary it is the things we do and the things that happen to us that change us into who we become...what I am saying is that there is likely a choice that we miss in all of life’s drips and drabs.


I am not even sure what is an over reaction anymore.  There have been so many things that have happened in my life...so very many things that got almost no reaction from me at all when I likely should have been taking a great deal of action. And then there a whole host of minor things that have gotten way too much attention from me because they vexed me or hit me in a moment of weakness and I was just prone to being reactive no matter what the cause or catalyst.


So I am not sure I am a good judge of what is the appropriate level of reactivity about anything really.  I never seem to get it “right” whatever “right” is.  


I know that I still give way too much import to other people’s opinions.  Over my own.  To my own detriment.  And when my world view differs greatly from someone else’s, I am most likely going to have an exaggerated reaction to that.


I think the only way that I have successfully mediated my own reactivity is with a daily meditation practice.  I can’t explain why, but I know that when I sit still and quiet on the cushion, lots of things that were not possible moments before become possible.  I have sat down with a great deal of strife and hardship with no easy or really viable solutions and just taken all that swirling emotional current to the cushion and it has all just worked out or I am suddenly given a solution that was not even remotely possible moments before...


So when I find myself in a place of emotional reactivity, I know that the best thing, and the hardest thing for me to do, is nothing at all.  To just allow the things in life to happen, to grant me my freedom to feel it all and the desire to do something, anything to change that which is painful, uncomfortable or sad into something else. 


But I know, because I have had the experience repeatedly, that when I allow life to do its life shit, and I am capable of sitting with whatever it is long enough to allow some divinity to pass through, the result is always better, for me and others.


I have been in an emotionally reactive place lately.  I have not been waiting or meditating regularly.  I blame the cold and rainy weather because my meditation studio is outside, but there is no reason I cannot meditate right where I am.  I am working too much and it is effecting the rest of my life and that is effecting my judgment in all aspects.  This I know and I didn’t have to sit in full lotus to figure that out.


The phrase, lightly child, lightly comes to mind.  I over react so often because I am not paying close enough attention, I am confused, lost or failing to give myself the time and energy it takes to sustain myself.  The price for everyone when I let my self care routine slide is that we all pay and my emotional reactivity gets out of balance.


So today’s photo kind of fits the way I have been existing lately.  Life does its thing and then I allow that to just spread throughout my life...and that is ok, I guess.  I want to remain fluid and dynamic and changeable.  I want to be teachable and in order for that to be an option for me, I have to be willing to observe myself as I am moving through this life.  And sometimes, I will see that I am giving away a great deal of power by the manner in which I allow the things that happen, the people I encounter, the situations I place myself in, to disrupt my life...because the ripple effect is only happening on the surface, deep below it is all just fine.


And this is only something that I remember when I can sit still with myself, my feelings, my worries and my inability to see that which disrupts the surface really only becomes problematic when I allow the ripples to become shockwaves that resonate far deeper...and today I see it is a choice.  And that choice, the source of all imbalance in my life, occurs because I fail to see that the events of life, just happen and I do not have to grant them any more impact than they are due.


When I am in balance, the ripples come and only lightly disturb my surface, briefly. But when I am out of balance, those ripples becomes harbingers of a much greater disturbance that resonates much more deeply...again. Still.




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