I've been using a self-calming technique I decided on for a few months now and I find it is incredibly effective for me. It's quite simple. Be it stress, anger, sadness or any other undesired emotion at the time I remove myself from what is causing me the distress at that moment (as best I can). I close my eyes and say "Be still" and while doing so I envision water; be it a boiling pot, roiling ocean, a dripping tap into a bathtub, murky opaque swamp water, or something else. I picture the type of water that most closely resembles my current emotional state and a mentally try to make the water clear and still. I'm usually very successful at finding a place of peace by doing so, and even if I fail I'm in a much better state than before the effort. As I keep at this it's beginning to work more quickly and efficiently for me.
Thinking about this recently got me thinking of other characteristics to water and my relation to them.
Now I thought to lay out a bunch of metaphors regarding dams, bottlenecks, diverting rivers, drying lakebeds, garbage and pollution, salmon breeding, grizzly bears, whirlpools and other assorted things but it seems awfully unnecessary for my point. Which simply is I've finally found my ability to flow through life without needing to control the outcome.
Well I'll use one metaphor, life is much like a river to me. It starts up a mountain and typically flows water down to a termination point. There's branching paths, rapids, water falls and various other things you can make parallels to life situations with. In my life I resisted the flow; I thrashed and tried swimming every which way I pleased or clung to things and tried holding on. I didn't like feeling out of control and at the whim of the river. I bounced off rapids, was sucked down by the undercurrent on occasion and tossed off of falls never to catch a break because it just keeps going.
Mind you, the metaphor falls apart for me at the notion of just flowing along with no control of my life, but I'm more focusing on the relation to the greater whole of my life and those within it. I don't control the boulders, fish, logs or anything else that may prove to be obstacles within that river. Yet, I choose how I go down it, how prepared I wish to be and I decide what I'll do at each obstacle I encounter. I may not have a say in what awaits me along the river, but I choose and control how I wish to swim down it.
Which is really where I'm at in life right now. I stopped resisting the elements I cannot change and quit worrying about things out of my control. I flow now. Swift and precise and with a presence of mind I've never had before but I'm sure will guide me well into the future.
Recently I have had annoyances with my in-laws, irritation at my wife's work, problems with our home, issues with my daughter's behaviour, concerns about the impending birth of my son, frustration at our cats, and difficulties interacting with my sister (after years of no real contact). Then of course there's the regular day to day stresses. Plus we just stumbled past our D-Day "anniversary" and other infidelity related events and all the emotional turmoil that goes along with that.
You know what though? I'm pretty fucking good right now.
These events flow through me now as I flow through them. They surround me, envelop me, penetrate me, but are not me. I feel them, process them and deal with them. It helps tremendously that my wife has been wonderful for me despite having some rough days of her own.
I feel like I've finally reached the balance and peace I've wanted my whole life. Even if the life beyond me is difficult and not within my control at all times, I'm one with myself and it feels really good. I just had to learn to be still and flow.
Just sharing my random thoughts. Thanks for reading. Me: 28 ~ Her (FR2012): 27
Together: 9 years, 2 children
D-Day: April 19, 2012
Surrender to the truth of life.