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This Is What Suffering Looks Like On Meditation

I am hating most everything in my life and I’m finding it almost impossible not to make that, or me, bad.  I didn’t realize I was making it bad and pushing it away until I sat down to write – at which point I heard my therapist’s voice and my meditation teachers’ teachings echo through my head with their ever-helpful and ever-loathsome message: try to just be with the feelings.  Fuuuuuuuckkkkkk thaaaaaatttttt it’s so god awful hard. Why must theyyyyy be riiiiiiiightttttt?  (This is my keyboard trying to represent my mind on whine.)

I don’t want hard.  Ever.  It was so hard to take my laptop out to write.  It’ll be a shitty post.  Your head’s not in the game.  Scrap it for the week.  Actually, scrap it forever. You hate it. You hate the whole thing.  What do you like anyway?  “Mom, can I hang out with you while you work?” My son’s voice asks over my shoulder, interrupting my thoughts. “No,” I respond. Followed by, “I’m working.”  Then I went back in.  I hate when my kids are home on break.  Why do schools have to have breaks? I hate that I hate when my kids are home. I must be an asshole. Everyone else seems to love it.  I hate that I’m such an asshole and yet I can’t stop being one.  What am I gonna do this summer when they’re home?  I’m gonna hate the whole godforsaken thing.  That’s what I’m gonna do.  “You’re comparing, and layering future onto present,” I hear Sharon Salzberg’s voice gently and compassionately remind.  “Try to come back to what is happening right now,” she guides.  I hate right now. Please, Sharon, just let me leave.

In meditation, the state that I’m in is referred to as samsara, or suffering.  In the past I would hide it, too afraid to share that side of me with anyone, even myself.  It’s not okay to feel that way. You’re not okay and you never will be. Don’t share, don’t produce work, don’t hang out until you’re closer to good. Wait until you look like those other people you see walking down the street.The ones who don’t feel this way.

For a moment, the writing feels too heavy.  So I leave the content window of the post and move over to section where tags are entered.  I type the word ‘meditation,’ followed by the word ‘suffering.’ As I’m typing, other words suggestions crop up based on tags I have used in the past. The window fills with the word ‘awareness.’  Seeing this, I pause.  Holy shit, I’m aware I feel like shit! I’m a goddamn genius!  And, here, you peckers who ask me every time why I continue to meditate if I still get depressed and then furrow your brow and say okay. Here’s your stupid answer! Okay, I’m also sometimes the pecker asking. (As an aside, every – and I mean EVERY – time I type the word genius I misspell it.  I don’t realize I’ve misspelled it until the red line appears under the word, tipping me off that something is awry.  I then go back to the word and change letters around in an attempt to land on the correct spelling.  The red line stays.  Then, in a true state of puzzlement, I open a second window so that I can look up the correct spelling.  Then I start laughing.  Oh yeah, you’re some kind of “genious” alright! Then I quickly forget the correct spelling and resume typing. Just as I have now.)

As I type, doubt, based on exchanges I’ve had in the past, arises.  Don’t publish this post.  People will treat you differently again.  But I’m coming back to what is for me right now.  And with the wisdom shared with me by all of my teachers, I hold close these feelings of not okay-ness, and with warmth, love, and compassion, know, that they are, and I am, very much okay.


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