This first paragraph is sort of an editorial to what follows. And actually, I guess the blog portion of what follows in an introduction to a meditation. But I digress, so back to the editorial:
When I started this site, I envisioned it as a place to put my articles, make some comments on things going on that had a psychological tone, and have discussions. The later part isn’t what I envisioned yet, but that’s ok. My point here is that for this entry, I’m not looking for comments that are reassuring. Those who know me the best know that’s not really me. I don’t want a bunch of people asking what’s wrong, or telling me positive things to boost my mood. I have support for that, and use it when necessary. And really, right now, it isn’t necessary. I just had a…
I’ve had better weeks. Just that statement alone was difficult to formulate in writing. This is not because I’m having trouble writing, but because as a therapist I am conscious of what I put in writing. And this blog today is going to address that, at least to some extent. First, I initially wrote I had a bad week. But that is neither completely true, nor does it sound like a therapist. And I guess the later is what I am getting at. Even therapists have bad days, or weeks, and it is okay to let people know that.
My week really wasn’t that bad. I have long been an advocate of the theory that chemicals in our brains contribute to our mood. This is certainly only part of the equation. My theory basically states that there are times when we feel good enough as a result of chemicals that the little negative things in life don’t get us down. And there are other times, as a result of low chemical levels, that small good things don’t boost our mood much. Most often our chemical levels fall in the mid range, and it our perception of events that most effects our mood.
So with that being said, I think this has been a week where my chemicals are low, or as my ex used to say when I felt this way, it is my time of the month.
On Monday, as I discussed in the blog on dishonesty, I visited a high school psychology class to discuss my experience as a therapist. The students in all four classes asked me how I can listen to others difficulties and not be affected. And I answered honestly that generally I’m not. Like any decent therapist, I have appropriate boundaries and am able, for the most part, to leave work at the office. But on Wednesday, as I drove to get my youngest for the night, I let other people’s difficulties affect me. Without getting into too much detail, I answered a couple of calls and I did appear affected by the difficulties of others. I let these difficulties lead to a focus on my difficulties, and a negative mood ensued. The part of the negative mood that was most off-putting was that I seemed to have little tolerance for others.
Alright, that is enough about my negative mood states. What did I do about it? Well, I’d love to say that I just simply raised my mood with the techniques I teach clients. And I did do some of them, and they likely helped. I spent time with my kids, got some work done, engaged in some of my hobbies. But my negative mood remained, at least partially. One of the things I did was write.
Some time ago I began writing short meditations, combining aspects of Taoism, Zen Buddhism, and recovery work. I wrote this one this weekend. I hope you find it helpful.
Some days or weeks are better than others. And some times it is difficult to practice a spiritual way of life. Some days we don’t want to be spiritual at all. We don’t remember, or want to remember, that we are the Buddha, that our Buddha nature lives within. We want to lash out, tell others about themselves, and maybe even behave in an aggressive fashion.
These are the times it is most important to try to practice some spirituality. Maybe it is best to retreat away, and to reflect on ourselves and our goals. Maybe some time away to meditate will return us to our center. On the other hand, perhaps we are better served surrounding ourselves with those we love, and focusing on the positives in that.
Today I realize that although I am a Buddha, I may not feel like behaving like one. And this is okay, as long as I own my behavior, admit when I am wrong, and bring no true harm to another.
Today I may need to retreat into myself.
Today I may need to surround myself with loved ones.
Today I will do what is necessary to return to my Buddha self.