“The water’s waves are churned up by the winds, which come and go and vary in direction and intensity, just as do the winds of stress and change in our lives, which stir up the waves in our minds.” ~ Jon Kabbat-Zinn Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
It is easy for me to take my emotions too seriously. Some more than others. You might know the ones I mean. Anger. Fear. Guilt. Resentment. Grief. Regret. Anxiety. Boredom. Hit with one of those, and I am on board and riding that wave like a professional surfer. Whether it’s the curt email, a comment that hits me the wrong way, an inaccurate assumption, a missed expectation, the arrival of bad news, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, lack of food, lack of communication, or a lack of whatever I think shouldn’t be lacking, if not careful, I’m up on my emotional surfboard catching wave after wave. Unfortunatly, others can get dragged along in my wake.
Someone once told me that an emotion only lasts for 90 seconds, and that it is our stories and inner dialogue that keep it going. I haven’t tried to verify that assertion, so for now, let’s just take it as true, because on some level it strikes me that it is. Caught on a wave of emotion I can become my own artificial wave machine, generating waves like at those inland water parks for landlocked surfers.
I am learning that when another one hits, if I can score even 90 seconds, I can let that wave pass.
Not ignore the wave.
Not fight the wave.
Not turn my back on the wave.
Just let wash up onto the beach, and then head back out to sea.