Resumes submitted today: Zero. Interviews scheduled: One. (Technically a reschedule of the informational interview that was postponed due to Stella the snow storm.)
Thought for today: sometimes it’s not all bad. Sometimes you have to go through those dark moments of the soul in order to emerge into the light. Yesterday was a dark day. No doubt.
But today the sun is shining brightly, it’s warmer outside, the pristine snow cover, glowing.
Then of course there’s this guy… I mean, come on.
How can your spirits not be lifted when you have this guy bounding towards you through a foot of snow like a dolphin at sea.
He reminds me of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy. And ridiculously happy, like, every. single. morning.
Most nights I have a difficult time sleeping. I wake up around 2 or 3am and have taken to walking around the house. Eventually the only thing that seems to settle my restless soul is getting under the covers of the futon. Sometimes through the darkness I’ll feel his soft muzzle burrowing under the covers, making sure I’m still there with a brush of wet whiskers and a sniff. Then I’ll put in the headphones and listen to an audio book. Echkart Tolle’s The Power of Now has long held the ability to soothe me back into the comforts of sleep. I’ve listened to the recording so often, I can practically recite whole sections:
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have.”
“It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.”
“See if you can catch yourself complaining, in either speech or thought, about a situation you find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings, your life situation, even the weather. To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.”
That last paragraph speaks most poignantly to me, only because I often catch myself complaining. Complaining is a form of pollution, it is a means of polluting the world. I typically do not complain out loud, but rather do it silently in the form of repeated negative thoughts running through my mind, a tape recording of self-doubt and dread and worry that plays over and over. Worrying is a form of feeling sorry for one’s self. I worry all-the-time. I wonder what I did wrong in the past, and I worry that my current unhappy situation will go on forever. But, WTF am I so unhappy about?
WTF am I so afraid of?
Not being employed full-time? What people will think of me?
I have a hearty roof over my head with plenty of food to eat and warm clothes to wear and sturdy boots to put on my feet when I take my new furry pal on a walk in the woods. When will I ever learn to cut myself a break?
Eckhart Tolle writes:
“Is fear preventing you from taking action? Acknowledge the fear, watch it, take your attention into it, be fully present with it. Doing so cuts the link between the fear and your thinking. Don’t let the fear rise up into your mind. Use the power of the Now. Fear cannot prevail against it. If there is truly nothing that you can do to change your here and now, and you can’t remove yourself from the situation, then accept your here and now totally by dropping all inner resistance. The false, unhappy self that loves feeling miserable, resentful, or sorry for itself can then no longer survive. This is called surrender. Surrender is not weakness. There is great strength in it. Only a surrendered person has spiritual power. Through surrender, you will be free internally of the situation. You may then find that the situation changes without any effort on your part.”
Maybe I’m just happier today because it’s Friday. St. Patrick’s Day? I don’t even celebrate Patty’s Day. Because I’ve rescheduled the interview? Who can say, really. Perhaps I feel better today because life is a series of ups and downs. At least it is for me. Some of the darkest hours, if you can move through them, do reveal some of the brightest moments on the other side.
About dread and despair, Tolle also writes, and perhaps this is the most useful of all:
“Feeling sorry for yourself and telling others your story will keep you stuck in suffering. Since it is impossible to get away from the feeling, the only possibility of change is to move into it; otherwise, nothing will shift. So give your complete attention to what you feel, and refrain from mentally labeling it. As you go into the feeling, be intensely alert. At first, it may seem like a dark and terrifying place, and when the urge to turn away from it comes, observe it but don’t act on it. Keep putting your attention on the pain, keep feeling the grief, the fear, the dread, the loneliness, whatever it is. Stay alert, stay present — present with your whole Being, with every cell of your body. As you do so, you are bringing a light into this darkness. This is the flame of your consciousness.”
The flame of your consciousness. I love that.
There have been enlightened moments when, having managed to pull myself out of a some dark crevasse of dread, I have come to realize…
I am my own damn light at the end of the tunnel.