I'm kicked back on my semi-comfortable love seat in my very comfortable jammies, robe and slippers on, listening to some amazing music and the background snoring of my bulldogs. The lingering aroma wafts in from the kitchen, a reminder of tonight's hodgepodge of leftover pasta for Sean and I, a burger and veggies for Paul. Some nights my kitchen is a short-order diner; some nights it's blissfully quiet because we're catching a meal of yakisoba or eggplant parmegiana or little plates of tapas. I love my life some days. I have everything I want ... well, mostly ... and isn't that all we can ask of life?
Tonight I'm reminded of the work of Byron Katie, because I've been inquiring a lot into what is real and what isn't during the last couple of days. Katie asks that we stop our own suffering by inquiring into the nature of mind by asking 4 simple questions of every problem we think we have, every poisonous thought. Just jot down a paragraph (or even just a couple of sentences) about something that is overwhelming you right now. Then ask:
1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it's true?
3. How do you react when you think that thought?
4. Who would you be without that thought?
That's the basics. (You can link to Katie's site from my links (to the left). You can do a little more work than that, like turning your judgments around on yourself, but basically if you inquire into each poisonous thought you have, you eventually stop arguing with reality.
I was a little more venomous on the phone today with my family member, who is claiming that the stories being told about him/her are false. Denial, you know? Or is it? How can I know? How can I know what drives this person to do the things he/she has done? I've dealt with enough addicts to know that their reality is very different from mine. But then again, other "sane" and non-addicted have a different version of reality from mine. My senses only deliver what is within my physical range. My brain only works the way it works. I can't know your thoughts. You can't know mine. Aren't we all in denial? Who am I to judge?
Where I come in with this situation is where every loved one comes in - my bank account is drained, my emotions are drained, I remain in a state of confusion and angst because I don't know who is telling the "real" truth and who is lying to cover something. I physically hurt from the stress of it all. My sister and I spoke about the things that stress us out. We know that when we are away from our major stressors, we start to get well. When we're facing down our troubles constantly, we physically hurt and begin to deteriorate.
It's not worth it.
Tonight, though I am grateful for my comfort, for being well enough to cook dinner, for being sane enough to inquire into my thoughts. The music is soothing. The dogs are lulled by it, each of them resting comfortably.
Peace - D