Waking Up

Whatever occurs isn’t considered an interruption or as an obstacle but a way to wake up.

Pema Chodron

Somehow we have this idea that we are doing it “right” if we are feeling good, if we are at peace with the world, if we’ve had a great meditation session, peaceful walk in nature, conversation with a friend, or if we feel connected to our partner. And we are doing it “wrong” if there is a break-up or misunderstanding, if our boss yells at us, or a driver flips us off on the freeway, if we feel angry, resentful, afraid, and just not “on our game”.

In such circumstances, we often feel bad, ashamed, frustrated, as if we are back to square one, starting over again on that long road to perfection that always seems to be just out of our reach. But actually, it’s our need to control our situation, that is the source of our suffering.

We have a hard time just being with what IS.

But if we could be in the present moment, in our present predicament with all the feelings and thoughts that arise, not judging, shaming, projecting or regressing, a whole new perspective would arise.

By experiencing the fullness of our present experience, we can begin to heal our emotional and physical wounds. By healing our wounds, we gradually gain the inner peace that allows us to step back and experience that we are more than these thoughts and feelings, that we are more than our story, that we are more than the thinking mind.

Experience is not the enemy! Nor is thought, feeling or ego. Actually, as Pema Chodron so beautifully points out, it is precisely these challenges that provide us the opportunity to wake up to the truth of who we are.

This is the beauty and mystery and intelligence of the universe.

So, let’s stop judging ourselves, or blaming life, and rather turn toward the shadows, the annoyance, the big and small things and maybe even say, “Thank you for waking me up.”

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