This past couple of weeks I’ve been waiting to hear back on a couple of applications and interviews I’ve done. It’s been nail-bitingly intense and I hate the whole process. I’ve also been dealing with a series of stunningly inappropriate patrons at work, and a lot of rejection letters from literary magazines I really like. None of this makes me happy or calm. But–it has forced me to use a lot of the DBT skills I’ve been working on and to reflect on the process of being in process. I always get frustrated at people who tell me to be less stressed because I don’t feel like it’s something I control Life just feels stressful all the time.
However, these past three weeks I have been trying to accept the stress and tolerate it, rather than fighting it and bemoaning the fact that it never quite goes away. I’ve taken a lot of angry bike rides, taken a lot of baths and talked out a lot of my worry with some trusted people and some fictional characters. While that helps, it hasn’t made it all go away.
On this topic, the Husbandit said something wise, as he is occasionally wont to do. I was venting about All the Things That Suck and how frustrated I was that I can’t deal better with them and he said, “Well, you do realize that you’re trying to achieve grace right? The feeling of detached observation of world that is tolerant and compassionate? That people have devoted hella lot of time to writing about? That’s a pretty big brass ring, sweetie. It’s okay that you haven’t achieved grace yet.”
Oh. Yes. Right. Grace.
I continued to take bike rides an baths and concentrate on my breathing and to try to do everything whole-heartedly this past week. When I’m angry I try to be really angry, rather than cover it up or push it away. When I’m happy, I try to be really happy. When I’m folding clothes, I’m trying to concentrate on folding clothes. And when I worry, I’m trying to fully embrace the worry. And then, when I’m happy again, I embrace that. This is all very frightening, because it means that nothing lasts. It has also turned me into one of the obnoxious people who suggests meditating on people’s words when they are really irritating you. But hey, it’s one of the things that is helping and bonus–the obnoxious people are also subject to impermanence. Ha!
This Monday, I woke up feeling calmer and more detached than I have in a while. I don’t want to stop feeling the feelings, but I do want to suffer a little less. And it seems that I am not. At least for today.