About a year ago, two questions came to me during journaling and altered my perception and reaction towards external things. These two simple questions moved me from fear and defensiveness towards the center that exists within myself, the place I experience and call balance.
I have always envisioned the centered feeling I talk about like the center portion of the wheel of a wagon, the part that fits into the axel. I imagine my true Self, the essence of who I am is that wheel.
The spokes that come out from the center extend into the world. They are the emotions, the perceptions, the logical thinking, and the physical movement, basically, anything that extends outwards. If the center of that wheel is not whole it behaves in an off-balanced way; the wheel shakes, wobbles or doesn’t work at all. Even if the outward projecting spokes are complete and not broken they rely on the center and there is a mutual exchange of energy from the center outwards and from outwards back into the center.
These two questions acted like the spokes of the wheel, transferring the external energy of the circumstances back into the center.
- Do people have to be a certain way for me to be OK?
- Do things have to be a certain way for me to be OK?
Ok for me is literal. Am I still standing, sitting, lying down, etc.… and am I still breathing? Was I still whole? Did something break? Was I unable to move? Every time I felt uncomfortable and asked myself a version of one of these questions I could see I was always OK.
Living a life where things have to be a certain way for me to be OK is a precarious and fearful place to reside. It draws out forms of manipulation, control, and removes presence from every situation. It propels you into an experience to read the situation or the person and to look at how you need to be, while continually grappling for a sense of peace and reacting from your perception that you are not OK when in reality guess what, you are.
Realizing this brings a space around people and situations that allow them to be as they are for if you are OK, you don’t need them to be any way except for how they are, right now, at this moment. From this place you have three choices to respond; request a change, walk away, or accept it the way it is because no matter what is going on you know you are OK because you are still breathing, standing, sitting or lying down.
(Photo by Jon Toney)