When will it stop?

So you’re angry. It shouldn’t be like this. It doesn’t need to be like this. It’s not fair. 

When will it stop?

The Stoics have an answer. It might not be the one you want to hear, but it’s an answer. The answer is that this will stop soon. It always does. Everything does.

As Marcus Aurelius wrote two thousand years ago…

‘Keep in mind how fast things pass by and are gone — those that are now, and those to come. Existence flows past us like a river: the ‘what’ is in constant flux, the ‘why’ has a thousand variations. Nothing is stable, not even what’s right here. The infinity of past and future gapes before us.

So it would take an idiot to feel self-importance or distress. Or any indignation, either. As if the things that irritate us lasted.’

This is one of the reasons the Stoics were big advocates of “the pause” . Yes, this thing is angering you right now. But the truth is that it will be gone soon enough. And so will you for that matter!

Life is short. Do you want to spend it being upset? Most problems resolve themselves. Most bad news is followed, eventually, by good news. Most frustrations lessen with time. Use that to your advantage. Don’t give them more substance and permanence than they deserve. 

The Daily Stoic

Well, that sums up my thinking this fine, hot morning, following several heated exchanges with my kids. Why do I get so angry in response to the behaviour and language of feisty, headstrong nine year old boy? What’s really going on with me? Why so irritated? What did I truly take offence at?

Oh yes, it was not one of my better parenting moments. Thankfully we resolved it by school drop off, but I have inner work to do. Marcus and his wise words bring comfort to my addled brain once more. Thankyou, my old dead Roman friend.

I’ll journal some thoughts about my anger and what may really be going on. Ah, life hey. What a never ending school of learning. Back on the horse and giddy up.

Heave Ho

Boozebrain.


Should we dance?

Hafiz the wondrous

Indeed. The endless fears that abound at present. I see many who become paralysed on a daily basis.

Reading this, it appears it’s been happening to us human monkeys for centuries. May our limited sight continue to improve day by day. In the meantime, let’s dance.

Boozebrain


Ruts don’t dig themselves

Leunig

Ruts don’t dig themselves.

Most of the time, we’re in a rut because that’s precisely where we put ourselves.

Actions become habits, and habits get repeated because they feel safe.

The easiest way to make things more interesting is to simply stop repeating your habitual behavior.

And that often comes from reacting to triggers. Remove the triggers and you can alter the habits.

Tiny changes. Different ways to keep score.

Tomorrow comes daily. But we don’t have to take the same route to get there.

Seth Godin

Here’s to creating new ways of showing up in the world. To do that, it seems we have to start from zero every day. Often multiple times a day. Those triggers and learned responses show up with ease. Our challenge is to become better observers of ourselves so that we can notice when we are playing that same tired old song, listening to that ancient, unhelpful story or kicking around those same dreary habits that lead no where good.

It’s hard work this staying conscious business. I can see why addictions and scapegoating have so much appeal. It’s far easier, in some ways, to drink, smoke, pop a pill, lay a bet, blame the government, our parents, boss or whatever.

Taking full responsibility for our actions and consequences and actively building ‘The Good Life,’ well, that’s something else. However, as I have said many times, what option do we have. We can’t un-see what we have all seen.

And so, it’s onwards we march.

Go well comrades.

Boozebrain


The contemplative mind

Leunig

The contemplative mind withholds from labelling things or categorising them too quickly, so it can come to see them in themselves, apart from the limited words or concepts that become their substitute.

Humans tend to think because they agree or disagree with the idea of a thing, they have realistically encountered the thing itself. Not at all true, says the contemplative. It is necessary to encounter the thing in itself.

‘Presence’ is my word for this encounter, a different way of knowing the moment. It is much more vulnerable and leaves us without a sense of control. Such panoramic and deeper seeing requires a lot of practice, but the rewards are superb and, I believe, necessary for both joy and truth in this world.

Richard Rohr

From my little viewpoint, I think it’s fair to say that as a species, we often see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. We take skerricks of information and compile God awful symphonies with them before demanding others listen to them  intently. We then fail to notice their ears bleeding or their shocked or bored faces and carry on reinforcing our distorted view of reality, believing our troubled music is both the truth and the light.

Oh how I have done that in years gone by. Alcohol only strengthened my delusional muttering and poor seeing. I am so grateful my hearing, my seeing and my interpretations have improved over time.

Here’s to more joy and truth in the world. And far better music.

Boozebrain


My old friend anger

Screen Shot 2020-01-18 at 10.33.34 am

Leunig

When we can see that anger is not anger but often a glimpse of what is unresolved underneath, that’s when we are learning. As someone once said, ‘Anger is often the fear at what we have gotten ourselves into. Fear that we won’t be able to get ourselves out.”

 It’s not enough to just stuff your anger down or cut it off at the pass—you have to figure out what’s going on way before that. You have to look at the root causes. You have to look back at the road you traveled to understand how you got to this place, this moment.

The Daily Stoic

I have a history of numbing out, repressing and avoiding ‘anger’ in my life, only for it to be unleashed at some pressure point, which often isn’t that spectacular to be honest. Since I bid farewell to alcohol, my life has improved on so many levels. ‘Anger’ and expressing it healthily is a continual work in progress. Some days I can see it coming from a distance and manage it well. Others day I articulate to those I feel need to hear it. Other days I yell and scream at my kids or ‘go silent’ around my partner and refuse to engage like some enraged teenager.

Oh, my sweet old friend ‘anger.’ How we have tangled in many a strange dance over the years. I’ll step on your toes, you’ll trounce mine, occasionally we stumble over one another and somedays you and I hear and move clumsily to completely different tunes. I suspect we may have some way to go before we fully appreciate and understand each other. That’s okay. I think we have grown together, ever so slowly, and now we can forgive and smile at each other for all those missteps.

Till next I lose my shit and we tangle awkwardly once more.

Your old comrade,

Boozebrain.


The fallen

You know what, we don’t know if the others knew this, but we old Irish people always went to the fallen ones for the cure.

I read this recently. It makes such sense, but we are rarely encouraged to seek out the ‘fallen,’ particularly when we are younger. Instead our rapid paced and driven culture seems to hide these broken folk away, ignoring and/or dismissing them.

Rather we are encouraged to look to the so called ‘successful’ among us. However what I’m realising is that unless the so called ‘successful’ person has both experienced and more importantly owned their own ‘falleness’, I don’t know if they really have all that much to offer the world. Not in any depth at least. All my heroes are flawed, messed up and generally have made many mistakes. Personally I love them for that. I can trust them.

People who deny their own shadow, who race from one success/experience to the next, who move at a rapid pace, missing the little things about them…oh I don’t know. Perhaps it’s just me.

Personally, give me the broken souls, the confused and slower moving types any day. That may well say more about me than anyone else.

Carry on,

Boozebrain

(A delicious sunset from a few days ago)


What kind of weather today?

A passing stranger talking to a shepherd:

What kind of weather will we have today?

The kind of weather that I like.

How can you be so sure?

Well, having found out that I cannot always get what I like, I have learned to always like what I get. So I am quite sure we will have the kind of weather I like.

Right now it’s like this…

(Source unknown)

I read this recently but I cannot recall where it came from – an old parable of sorts.

I know that I have spent too much of my life attempting to ‘get what I like.’ Thankfully, on the whole, those days seem largely a thing of the past. Today I’m far more accepting to work with whatever reality decides to hurl my way – be it good or not so. Regardless of the weather, my task is to respond as best I can in that moment – blame no one, make no excuses and remember that ‘this too shall pass’.

Onward ho,

Boozebrain.