I've been wrestling with myself a bit lately. Just a gentle tug of war, not a Jacob and the angel throw-your-hip-out-of-whack sort of contest.
The source of my angst? The weather is not doing what I want it to. Simply put, I want it to be spring. It is April 14, after all, and we still have snow here in upper Michigan which is nearly unheard of and it's making me very cranky. It is supposed to be spring-like now—warmish and sunny—crocus and tulips bending and bowing in the breeze.
And we have had nearly 6 consecutive months of cold, windy weather here and, truthfully, I am tired of it.
I long to amble in the woods and look for early wildflowers. I ache to put my hands in the dirt and rearrange the soil to midwife seeds into blooms. My heart longs for color.
I'm cranky because, like a spoiled child, I am not getting my way.
I know full well that this internal struggle is a matter of acceptance and letting go. It's not an uncommon struggle for me, being someone who rather likes to be in charge.
I know full well that this inner angst is simply ridiculous, a complete waste of time and, spiritually, very foolish.
I know full well that we can't always get what we want. (Though Mick Jagger sang that we might, sometimes, get what we need.)
But this doesn't stop me (or any of us) from wishing and hoping life could be different than it is.
If we are awake and aware and even a little bit wise, we see the error of our ways before we've created too much suffering for ourselves.
All of this chafing against something not to our liking causes us to walk around with a curmudgeonly attitude, a hitch in our gate, a speck in our eye.
The best thing I know to do when I am resisting "life as it is" is to stop. Just stop, and ...
... say what is ("I really don't like this, you know!"" ...
... take a deep, cleansing, breath ...
... and settle down by whooshing myself with compassion.
A whoosh of compassion is a visualized wash of lovingkindness—beginning at the top of your head, gently pouring over the length of your body like a warm saltwater flow, pooling at the soles of your feet, so you find yourself standing in a puddle of well-being.
Amazingly, it works. Our disquietude becomes silent. The eye of our heart clears. Wisdom returns.
And as it does, life in the world goes on as usual. The snow is still here. The flowers will rise when they are ready. It is I who feels different today because I've taken myself out of the equation.
The world does not rotate around me and my wishes. I rotate around and through it. As long as compassion is present, I can. Any of us can ...
(Photos © 2012, Jan Lundy.
From my garden of longing.)
is a touchpoint. a resting place, a "remembering" of who we really are and how we can best live—kindly and compassionately with ourselves and others.
Janice Lynne Lundy, DMin
is an educator, interspiritual director/guide and retreat leader who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for more than twenty years. She is the author of several spiritual growth books, including Your Truest Self, My Deepest Me and Portable Peace., and is the co-founder and co-director of the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute.