Meditative practices are based on the assumption that part of being human is being forgetful. We leave and then return to a healthy practice. We abandon and then re-commit to a meaningful ritual. We forget and then remember some deep wisdom.
There have, undoubtedly, been moments in our lives when we sat in contemplative silence, meditated, prayed, danced, or practiced yoga as a way to feel more present and alive. Perhaps during these times we were more centered and in tune. We thought, I want more of this! This is what life is really about. We remembered a connection to something larger than ourselves. Our vision. Our purpose. And then we forgot…
The truth is, none of us is connected or awakened 100% of the time. It’s not happening. It’s not how we’re made.
On top of the unintentional forgetting, there’s the stuff we forget on purpose. I somehow consistently dismiss the fact that sugar is a drug and that I am addicted to chocolate. I seem not to recollect that watching too many episodes of Mob Wives lowers my brain function (even if I postulate that Big Ang’s attitude towards life could be considered Zen).
Forgetting on purpose sometimes helps us make it through the day– it helps dull or mask what is really there. Especially when our own reality seems too painful or difficult to bear
When I am choosing not to remember I watch Mob Wives and engage in the drama of Renee’s betrayal or Drita’s anger. I witness their suffering, not my own. Choosing to be awake compels me to start to engage my own anger and propensity towards drama.
I have a confession. During my marriage (before we split up), I spent an entire year on my iPhone. Sure, I did other things like lovingly raise my kids, work, and cook yummy foods and blog about it. But any little time I had to myself I was disconnected from life, opting for social media voyeurism instead.
I woke from the trance and started to deal with what I was really feeling. And it was sometimes some ugly shit (a la Renee type melt downs). Yup. Really. There was no way around the pain and mourning of my marriage ending– I had just been delaying it. And there would be no way I could cultivate a friendship with my ex or an effective co-parenting partnership without dealing with what I had been avoiding.
Staying asleep masks our passions and what is alive in us. We are a little bit dead.
What helps is real connection. Connection with ourselves and connection with others. I’ve received nurturing and love from my community of sisters along the way.
Connection and support has been mostly in the form of good listening, mutual sharing of woes, and perhaps most importantly, reminders about how to take better care of ourselves.
Sometimes taking care of myself means numbing my brain by watching an episode (or two) of Mob Wives. As you might guess, taking really good care of myself involves other practices that bring me back to what is really there, what is truly alive for me. Contemplative practices and the support of loving friendships trumps Mob Wives (on most days).
What’s your low brow way to escape from what’s true or real?
Are you down for this level of commitment and honesty? You ready to choose meditation over Mob Wives? Download the Self Care Warrior e-book.