Op-Ed
Published in

Op-Ed

Thoughtful Contemplation

Slowing down to impossibly slow, settling into nowhere to go.

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My car wouldn’t start again yesterday. In the past, I’d have become a victim. “Why is this happening to me?” “How will I afford to fix this?”

Yesterday, I just moved into a trouble shooting mind set. “Can the shop take it in?” “Will I need a tow truck or can I get it started?” It doesn’t surprise me because I’ve been spending the most time around my grandparents and parents. Even though they are all capable of their own total meltdown, they tend to all find unique ways to solve problems. I suspect its been out of necessity. In other words, when you don’t have much, you have to be able to fix what gets broken because its less expensive than buying new.

I don’t know if it was necessarily because I was in a relationship or just because I had not had this epiphany, but my go-to move for most bad situations I found myself in was to panic. I relied on those around me to give me a game plan. If given a task, I could mindlessly work toward completing that task without thinking of the entire weight of a problem. Looking back, its clear that leaving my emotional stability in the guardianship of others was a recipe for being manipulated.

I don’t believe I have accumulated all the wisdom of the ancient elders, but I do notice I have the ability to understand things from their perspective a little more each day; best evidenced by the patience I have developed with life. The grace with which I handled my circumstances over the past few days has been a great improvement to the absolute meltdowns I used to have when things didn’t go my way in the past. This sort of restraint from selfish thinking, and underdeveloped responses to circumstances are something that younger generations traditionally have learned from the elders. When we are young, we have a lot of ups and downs because we are willing to take greater risks in order to move things along more quickly. When we become older, we don’t want quick, we want things to slow down so we can cherish them.

I’m not sure I know which of the practices makes me feel best out of yoga, journaling, meditation, beautifying my space, spending time with my grandparents, or having alone time with nature. All of these activities involve opening up space in the day to just be present. Perhaps the combination of a lot of philosophies allows me to finally see some light in the tunnel of co-dependent relationship withdrawal. The boundaries I created to protect me from the hurt and unpredictability of the external world became walls within which I hid myself. It took a lot of focus and attention and a whole lot of love to begin to disassemble them. We have to be gentle with ourselves and patient with whatever life throws at us.

I’ve now lived for a bit too long with the future at the forefront of my mind. I would find something wrong with every moment there, but now settling into the moment feels good. I imagine melting and oozing to allow space for any obstacle; slowly moving around while allowing everything to remain as it is, knowing I can rejoin on the other side.

Nowadays, I trust myself to react as I feel I should in the moment. I’ve put myself through certifications and training programs that have given me different pathways for thinking. Of course, I didn’t retain all the information from those courses, but I exercised my mind to encourage it to take on new ways of strategizing. Also, I’ve removed all mass media programming from my mind space, with the exception of ads on video streaming that I can skip most of the time. I consume a lot of information (much of which I am still skeptical) but having the option to sort out the bullshit for myself, and making the decision to do just that, has tuned my intuition. I even think that switching my devices from Android to Apple had an affect on the way I think; I can’t see how it wouldn’t. I trust my ability to find the information from sources I trust, but more importantly, I’m willing to accept the consequences of that responsibility.

Originally written in Collective Journaling at The Stoa

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