How getting real can liberate us to what is.
Today I got nothing. Can we just go with that?
Sometimes, the best policy is to tell it like it is. Like when we’re sick. Or when we’re down and nothing works and nothing we’ve tried turned out right. Sometimes the best idea is to sit back and say, “Wow. This is not working. At all.”
Maybe we even back up a little so we can get a clearer view.
That’s all meditation is — that backing up for a better view. It’s sitting with a situation, putting a tiny bit of distance between us and it, and then just watching it. This can be really hard but, boiled down to its essence, that’s what meditation is.
It’s hard because we have to give up our cherished illusions.
In order to see clearly, we have to give up what we want to see.
Case in point: I want to see myself as a prolific writer with something relevant to say and an effective way to say it. But then there are days like this when I’m sick, and I’m tired, and my head is a marriage of fuzz and fog, and I don’t care, and I don’t wanna. Meditation is sitting with that, watching it rise up and fall away, and saying yes to it all.
To see myself more clearly, I have to be willing to let the prolific writer be joined by (or even eclipsed by) the exhausted 65-year-old, or the one with nothing to say, or the one who just doesn’t want to work that hard. I must allow all those images. If I keep pushing some of them away, I’m distorting my vision, robbing myself of clarity. Why? So I can feel better? Does it feel better — to push away the real moments in favor of the well-crafted illusion?
Meditation is watching all those questions, all their many answers, and noticing what goes on in the body because of them.
And usually, when I’m paying attention to the bodily responses to my thoughts, I realize how much energy I waste trying to manipulate things that aren’t even remotely in my control. Meditation is noticing that, too, and saying, “Yes, that too.”
But to the degree that I don’t defend, to the degree that I see without condemning or defending, to the degree that I stay compassionately in the room with all of it, that is the degree to which I can wake up to how it really is with me. How it really is with anything. How it really is.
This is the moment of freedom that requires the most courage and the least effort.
Today, I got nothing. I’m tired and sick and fuzzyheaded and I left it for the last minute so for sure I got nothing.
There is a way to smile and say yes even to this. I haven’t truly figured it out yet. But I have a feeling that this is what I was put on this earth to learn. So every day I get another chance.
And today, I’m sharing that chance with you.