Responding to negativity

It’s interesting to ponder.

What part of life propels us into a story or reactive response?

That, I think, is what folks mean when they speak about going unconscious, falling back to sleep into duality, forgetting who we really are.

Perhaps someone who is awake in this moment is not lost in a personal novella attempting to solve the plot and save the main character.

It’s interesting to watch what careens us into mental gymnastics.

For each person it may be different dynamics which keep us acting in patterned reactivity.

One of the sure-fire ways in which I often get lost in storytelling is this:  Someone sits at the table of life and complains about this.  Then she complains about that.  Then he fusses about the weather.  Then he cuts down his co-worker.  Continually, she speaks what’s wrong, wrong, wrong.

I grit my teeth, my head aches.  An inner defensive voice rises which wants to turn everything around to the positive.  An entire story builds about how my companion is wrong, wrong, wrong!  If only he/she could be more…you know…gosh darn positive. Doesn’t he see how he’s creating his own inner hell?  In moments I can be a fuming mass of contradictory confusion.  “She’s an idiot!” an inner voice pronounces.  “Kathy, you’re not being very spiritual,” another thought proclaims.

And I’m lost in an inner novel, trying to figure out how to survive without assassinating the negative so-and-so.  Or how to fix the spiritual self who doesn’t know how to sit with negativity.  Talk about creating an inner hell.

Dance, dancer, danced

Dance, dancer, danced

It is interesting to watch what happens when we’re sitting across the kitchen table of life and we’re awake to ourselves.

“John was so stupid today,” says the negative one.

You sit with this statement–and, instead of giving credibility to the inner voice which may or may not try to turn this around to the positive–you simply allow the negativity to arise.  You sit with it.  You see clearly that the person across the table feels hurt or annoyed or sad or angry with John.  Instead of wanting to make it all better, you feel your heart opening.  Ahhhh, this being is simply expressing himself. He is seeing the mirror of John and attempting to express what he values, what he doesn’t value. You feel your own tender heart.  You feel John’s tender heart, his humanity.  All of our tender hearts wanting to express ourselves and often “missing the mark”.  Ahhh, we humans, you think, and your heart opens wider at our grief, our inability to speak the full truth, our clumsiness.  At the funny way our love seemingly turns sideways into dark alleys.

“The goddamn weather sucks,” fumes your friend.

You hear the words with your entire self.  You feel the way your stomach clenches.  You feel how you want to turn away; you want to make it better.  You feel the pain of it, and yet, simultaneously, you feel the compassionate heart present, allowing, encompassing.  Everything can come into you, all negativity, and you see how your love is the perfect hostess saying yes, yes, and yes to even the most unwelcome.  You witness your friend’s frustration and remember your own frustration about nine million ways the Universe didn’t align.

In this moment it’s all intimacy.  You’re with whatever arises–negativity or positivity.  None of those energies mean anything anymore.  You’re not even aware of a distinction between who is expressing the positive or negative.  Is it another?  Is it you?  The question doesn’t even arise because it’s all intimacy, all love, all allowing.

And the next moment perhaps you’re sitting at that kitchen table of life and the judgment arises with its inner knife and suddenly…you don’t beat yourself up.  You allow yourself to be reactive, to fuss, to fume.

Love is that big, isn’t it?

It encompasses everything the mind can not even fathom how to include.

Who knows what will arise in the next moment?

It’s exciting to see, isn’t it?




4 thoughts on “Responding to negativity

  1. I wish I could find the time to get here more often. Life is over full for me presently but I always hope for such luxuries of time becoming a reality. Today my friend Judi resonated so much with what you said here, she shared the link and sitting in the waiting room at my children’s dentist’s office I find that luxury of time to visit you I’ve been yearning for.

    I call the response to others you describe here as living from unconditional love. The ability to sit with anyone, simply that, not wanting the other to change, and even understanding from the heart all that is being expressed.

    Always love the heart that is Kathy in the words you craft to express that beautifully, eloquently.

    • Hi, Deb. So nice to hear from you. Thank you for stopping here to share for a moment. Yes, living from unconditional love. What a gift when it can happen, isn’t it? Thanks for what you said about the writing. So often it feels more like simply opening up and letting Life write through. So maybe Life should get the credit, yes? And then Life can take any blame, too. Ha ha! Happy early holidays!

    • Lori, it’s interesting how sometimes we need to discuss and wrap our minds around things and other times we can just sit in the silence of knowing. Yesterday I crafted another blog here–it felt vitally important to write–and then simply realized it was for me. It didn’t need to be shared. Have never felt this so clearly before. And, then again, later today maybe something will press the “publish” button. Such a mystery, our speaking and not speaking! Blessings…

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