“You are not your mind, your emotions or the circumstances of your life. You are the peaceful observer of your mind and emotions that allows life circumstances to pass through and around you for your evolution to finally come to a place of total acceptance of all that is. Only the peaceful observer remains after all else fades away. Only the peaceful observer in total acceptance of what is can take action towards effectively changing anything. You are only this peaceful observer – everything else is as fleeting as the blink of an eye, choose happiness and don’t buy into it.”
My dear friend, mentor, and older sister sent me this quote yesterday based upon a conversation we’d had earlier this weekend. She called to “check in,” on the pretense to make sure I was feeling better after she got me sick two weekends past. After a few minutes of talking, she revealed that, while she was concerned about my physical health, she was concerned more about me. Now, let me give a bit of background to her older-sisterly consideration.
Two weeks ago, my sisters and I went out to see the baby. THE BABY, folks! It was the first time I had met my precious, precious nephew, and the first time the four sisters had been together since THANKSGIVING.
To use Glennon Melton’s (bloggee over at Momastery), my sisters are my lobsters. According to Glennon (via Phoebe from Friends), soon after lobsters are born they find a partner, lock claws, and walk together for the rest of their lives. My big sisters are mentors, best friends, wise, loving, talented super-awesome women. I love them, and can’t imagine life without them (which we have to do creatively, considering that the four of us live in four different states. More on that later.)
As excited as I was (which, believe me, was a dramatically squealing level of anticipation) I approached this weekend with some consternation. As much as my big sisters are all the above and more, I’ve had a history of comparing myself to these wonderful ladies. Throughout a bit of my life, I’ve looked at myself in terms of my sisters. Am I as pretty? Creative? Smart? Driven? Am I as exotic or sweet or loved or kind or sought after?
Part of which is natural, part of which is just plain toxic. So I approached that weekend away with my sisters mindfully, carefully. This summer, I’ve made it a practice of letting my emotions be. I don’t try to reason them away or invalidate them. Neither do I let them control me with undue power, swaying me to their whims. My emotions are allowed to be: I look at them, examine them, and pause to wonder at what is flooding through my mind and body. Then, I evaluate them: why do I feel this way?
By allowing my emotions to be, I’m not forced to try and deal with them. I’m not trying to force them away, cover them up, replace them with happier feelings. In the past, when I encountered bad feelings, the methods I used to try and make them go away usually just intensified whatever darkness I was feeling.
I am not the sadness that sometimes pervades me. Nor am I the ecstasy, the desire to withdraw, the overwhelmed, the happy, the gleeful, the enthusiastic, the stressed. I am the peaceful observer. I accept what is, looking forward to the future while living into the present.
I think part of what my sister picked up on was that quiet introspection of what is. There is a quietness and seriousness that accompanies me when I tenderly look within at my emotions, feelings, desires and foibles.
Do not be overwhelmed by what is, friends. Remember that you are the observer. You are the peaceful one, able to choose what you will allow in and what will flow out.