Letting Things Sit

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Often we react from impulsive emotions, when it may have been better to just wait a few moments and let the emotion pass.

Traveling alone and in spontaneity, with no plan has afforded me to see this with more clarity. Nothing all too novel, but the understanding is more lucid.

It's like a bug bite. (Of course these are at the fore front of my awareness.) When you get a mosquito bite, typically, it is no big deal. A little topical bump, and that's it. It doesn't last long. Only when we start to itch and scratch, do we open the wound, making it more itchy, and opening the door to potentially worse consequences  - bleeding and infection - depending on just how far we go. The reaction to the bite itself is what makes it worse.

This is similar to our emotions. At times, they are just a topical bump, they come to surface and leave. Other times, they can be hard to deal with and nearly impossible not to react to. We feel we must do something about them.

Though, an emotion is just another wave passing through you. It defines you not. Like the sky houses sunshine, rain, storms, and clouds, you house a multitude of emotions. But we don't define the sky as rainy all the time, or sunny all the time, it's just the sky. The same goes for us, only when we start to ruminate, fester,  and react, do we start to define ourselves as a singular emotion. It's the difference from having an experience which may make you feel a slight touch of anxiety, and being anxious.

Defining, reacting, ruminating, gives water to the seeds of our emotions, they open the wounds of our bites.

So how does this relate to my traveling? It has played a role in everything from the trivial to the profound. Some examples below.

Oh you want to get a haircut now? Why not wait, it's been 8 months, and you've enjoyed it, see if this impulse lasts for a week, better yet a day, then get one.

Oh you want to get candy after a big meal? Why not wait, for your brain to catch up to your stomach.

Oh you want to text that German girl your feelings for her when she's already back home? Definitely wait.

Oh you think it's time to leave the city? Sit a minute and see what happens.

Of course this begs the question of the fine line between spontaneity and pre-meditation. I find with this one there is no general answer or rule to abide by. As much as I have let things sit, I have followed the feeling (sometimes after sitting, sometimes on a whim). It comes down to one word, a skill which is cultivated. Discernment.  A skill I'm gradually learning

When in doubt there is two things to do, which I find helpful.

1. When facing strong emotions which you want to react to, journal. Write out your emotions,  your experiences, anything that comes to mind. There is no right or wrong way, just let your consciousness be expressed.

2. Feel it out. Explore the feeling deeper. What makes you feel that way? What bodily sensations do you feel with it? What does your breathing feel like? Etc.

Hoping wherever you are this reaches you in peace.


Scott HaberComment