This morning I woke up from a sound sleep, but my stomach was in a knot. The bottom line is, I said something, I think to get a laugh (mainly because I thought it was funny), but it wasn't. It fell flat on the person, and was probably not particularly the right thing to say. I pretty much knew it as soon as I said it. Then proceeded to brush it off...I tried to convince myself that the person didn't give it a second thought -- which is probably true except I think about moments when someone has said something to me and, mostly unbeknownst to me, it lingers in my psyche. As per Day 25’s post, my actions around meditation last night were a clue that I was troubled by it.
So this morning, still with a pit of regret for what I had said, I again sat and did the emotions meditation. This time not using it as a tool to banish the emotion, but to sit with the emotion; to see it for what it was and to not use the emotion to beat myself up over it. Certainly a good sign this morning (and a testament to this 28 day challenge), that I did not wake up beating myself up over “wrongly” meditating last night. It was what it was; I observed it then moved on to a new sit on a new day.
I really focused on and observed the regret and shame sitting in my stomach. I observed it like a piece of treasure in a museum. I realize now that emotions are sometimes just like that, treasures that buried or treasures right there on the surface to be seen, observed and then you move on to the next treasure if there is one. I sat for a half-hour struggling at times with the emotion, but I kept coming back to breath, then going back to the emotion to just observe it and detached, in a non-critical way. I don’t believe I was to take on FULLY seeing the emotion’s impermanence, but I certainly Aha! moments – enough moments to see how that emotion is not who I am, does not define me, it was part of a human moment in time. And certainly, if necessary, I can always go back to the person and say “hey, I feel I said something that wasn’t really funny and I’d like to apologize for that. My intention was not to be light of….” It’s as simple as that.
Often, however, I have to dig into what’s going on to make sure I’m not apologizing for something that needs no apology, but to see that really my regret/shame is an assault against myself, because I had been so conditioned to being assaulted as a child/young adult. Does it always come back to that?...to one’s historical references? I don’t know, but when it does I can’t just sit with it --- ha! Actually, now I do!!
I love this challenge and can’t believe it’s almost over. I wish it was longer; I wish some of us can find a space to gather for another 28 days and sit, except this time live, fact-to-face.