Sitting with It

SittingWithIt

Françoise Sagan dans son nouvel appartement de la rue de Grenelle, Paris, 1956 Philippe Le Tellier

It feels as though I’ve been pushing against the wind to get to this moment now. So odd it is to be busy carrying out my many obligations, all the while feeling the need to write press down upon me; ever-present, never letting up. I’m here now. And that’s all that matters. So with that, I will say to you dear reader, one of my deeper truths, is in coming to terms with inner restlessness. Restlessness, in my opinion, is one of the most potent emotional responses we encounter. I would say it’s as potent as fear, but to me, restlessness is an offshoot of fear. It’s the fear of simply being still within one’s self.

Because when we do, it is then that we notice all of our inner, unfinished business, our insecurities, our hurts. The chatter in our mind begins, either as an angry mob or one haunting voice. So we busy ourselves. We reach for something that will distract, numb or drown out the voices and urges. This is usually what makes meditation difficult for so many. It’s not easy working through the mental layer, with its constant chatter about what needs to be done, then the emotional layer that unearths all that was buried, and hopefully forgotten.

It’s a dreadful state so we bolt. We run toward something that will nullify the feeling. I say dear reader, as uncomfortable as it may be, sit in your restlessness. Let it wash over you. Let it wash through you. Let it bring everything to life. And when it does look around. Doing so is the gateway to peace. One is never free while running away. Freedom exists once we come to terms with who we are and who we’ve been; those things that frighten us; those things that cause us to feel vulnerable inside. That’s peace.

Looking at all those things that trouble you sounds like the last thing one would want to do in order to find peace. Yet, truly, it is the road that will take you there. Because as long as you run, as long as you distract and avoid, you remain the prisoner to those very things from which you long release. You can release yourself by sitting with those restless moments. You’ll be okay. And in time you will come to recognize restlessness as just another layer of your being that needs working through, allowing you a deeper understanding of yourself. Each layer discovered takes you closer to full ownership of yourself. And that is freedom.

But you have to be willing to go there. You must be willing to sit with it. After time you will look back and notice that you’ve conquered many moments that once sent you running. You can’t silence or run from inner restlessness and also find inner peace and freedom. They reside in two different places.

I am a long way from where I want to be in this regard. Yet, I take comfort knowing that mastering one’s self isn’t a title handed to us upon our death, it’s handed to us along our journey. And you will never master yourself, and thereby experience peace, unless you sit with yourself first. That means sitting still even when all you want to do is run.

Sane

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2 thoughts on “Sitting with It

  1. mwcsteve

    “We listen too much to the telephone and we listen too little to nature. The wind is one of my sounds. A lonely sound, perhaps, but soothing. Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for—sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive, or quiet and calm… As a matter of fact, one of the greatest sounds of them all—and to me it is a sound—is utter, complete silence.”
    ~André Kostelanetz

    And so it goes

    Reply

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