Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lost illusions

Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth. Ludwig Börne
So often, what I believe is an illusion of what I perceive the truth to be. Yesterday, I sat in the back yard and watched the birds twitter and flit around the bird feeder, happily munching away at the seeds. Now, in my mind, I believe those birds need me to feed them.

That's an illusion.

I'm sure they appreciate the feeder and its goodies. But, in reality, when the feeder is empty, they are off feeding somewhere else. When I refill it, they return -- looking just as fit and plump as when they were last there.

Now, that's a simple illustration, but, how true is it? Who knows what goes on in a bird brain?

Feeding the birds brings me great pleasure. Watching them, hearing their chirps, their song; all of that makes me feel happy. And that's the truth.

Like being kind. I feel better when I am acting with kindness, then when I am sulking or moping about because I believe someone has maligned me or treated me 'bad'. I feel better when I let go of shame, blame, guilt and move into kindness, love, joy.

Yet, some days, the choices I make increase my feelings of shame, blame, built and limit my joy.

It's always about the choices I make.

On Monday, the lawn cutting crew arrived and in the process of weed-whacking, they chopped off two of my vines that are creeping up the trellis in the back yard. I'd just planted them a few weeks ago so it was pretty easy to see the evidence of what had happened.

I had a choice.

Get angry. Call up the lawn guy and scream and yell or, calmly call him up and tell him what had happened and leave the solution up to him.

I chose the latter and he'll be here today to replace the destroyed vines.

Now, in all likelihood, he would have replaced them anyway -- even if I'd screamed and yelled and blamed and shamed his crew.

Reality is, I felt better for having calmly addressed the situation. I felt lighter. I wasn't carrying around unneeded grief and anger. I wasn't stewing in a vat of bilious invective, polluting my body and my day.

Sure, it annoyed me that the workers had been so careless. But, holding onto annoyance and letting it spill over into the rest of my day would have limited my joy and created less of what I want in my world. They didn't set out with the mission to destroy my plants, or with a plan of causing me grief.

They acted without care.

I care how I act. It is always our choice how we deal with anger. It is always our choice how we interact with people.

In realizing that I let go of the illusion that my ill-humour is caused by those around me. Truth is, my ill-humour comes from within me. It's my choice whether to give it the light of day or to let it fall back into sleep, at rest within me.

The question is: Are you choicing in favour of joy in all you do and say? Are you treating yourself to the gift of peace of mind?


Anonymous said...

I was just reading a Canadian Living article in which you shared some of your story about what happened to you. My story is almost identical to yours... same story by the guy... except the guy who conned me is in jail right now. Very brave woman thank you for speaking out about this I think it is incredibly common!

M.L. Gallagher said...

Unfortunately, you are right -- it is not uncommon.

I believe when we speak up we give permission to others to speak up as well -- with our voices, we have strength. And in our strength, we can stop abuse in our lives.

I'm glad to hear he's in jail -- take tender loving care of yourself. Be bold. Be brave and be your most amazing self.

Always remember -- He is the Lie.

Your truth is within you.

Be of good courage,