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Enough Already!

One of the hardest things in the world is watching somebody lose it over seemingly nothing. It is not only confounding and bewildering, but you’re suddenly dealing with a person with no emotional compass and little ability to reason. Our own reactions move from initial sympathy to irritation and eventually to exasperation if it continues long enough.

This past week my son, not quite three years old, drove me nuts. A supercharged combination of rebellion and whining and general malaise about, well, everything, pushed me to a breaking point. None of it made sense. How can a person, however small, yowl about a light being too bright in one breath, and then the room being too dark when you turn it down in the next? About oatmeal not being ready, and then when presented about not wanting it?

At some point, you throw your hands up and think, “Enough! What is wrong with you?!” At least, that’s often where I end up in my thoughts, though I’m not proud of it. Every ounce of willpower is summoned to remain calm.

 

But maybe there’s something good in this end-of-the-line frustration.

 

Many of us came to meditation and Buddhist practice at a time of crisis. Spirituality is often the refuge of the emotionally needy. In this I was no different, and over time working with awareness and consciousness not only helped me through one difficult period, but has likely staved off others since.

 

The end as the beginning. The end is the beginning. The end of our ability to hang on is the beginning of our efforts to climb. And though it may be difficult in the moment when “Enough already!” seizes us, we can know that it means just that. Enough. Something will end. Something will begin.

 

The emotions are primed to shift, and they will. They have reached their end. With some skill, and a dash of providence, we can guide them to a place where something greater can arise. Something will change. It is up to us to determine what that something will be. But it begins with enough.

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