I’m on day two of my boat trip to Luang Prabang, Laos, sitting on a two seater bench as stable as my friends last relationship. Of course, I’m next to an Italian man who’s hand gestures alone make me feel like I’m on a rocking horse. It’s a beautiful boat ride full of scenery that pictures could not do justice, yet here I am, after a silent meditation retreat nonetheless, being a little bitch about nearly everything. Heck, a little boy accidentally brushed up against me while I was trying to meditate and I sent him a death glare that would have made a bro from the Jersey Shore feel like he was going to Hell.
I could come up with a hundred contributions to my state of mind. 3 hours of sleep probably being the main source of my misery because everything was peachy on yesterday’s boat ride, but that’s besides the point. The point is even if nothing is your fault, whatever happens to you becomes entirely your responsibility. With whatever happens comes an unavoidable choice and responsibility you have to take on.
I can choose to continue to feel like shit, and that would be okay. Sometimes life’s shit and we just have to wait until the storm washes it away. That said, we also have the choice to open an umbrella and walk away from all the shit.
However, there’s a common misconception and belief that has been adopted by many, even me for some time. That it’s better to think only fluffy, sparkly, happy thoughts to feel better rather than being reflective. One is moving around the issue, and the latter is moving through it. One is repressive and one is expansive. There is no wrong choice, only a different result.
What did I want to do this morning when I looked in the mirror and instantly noticed the toll all of the fried rice and kao soi had taken? Think about how beautiful my curves are, how I’d want to be with someone who loves me for me anyways, and blah blah blah. Look, that’s great, and I certainly told myself those things, but not at first.
Why is my first reaction negative when I look in the mirror? Why am I putting so much importance on this temporary state of appearance? What belief is keeping this thought active? How is this serving me? From questions like these, I can choose how I will move forward with more clarity and awareness. By that point it becomes easier to see it’s all a bunch of bullshit anyways.
If I’m being honest, I feel better, but still shitty. I just want to sleep and press restart, but I asked myself questions so that I can take a step back from my thoughts and not be so identified with them. I’m no longer a victim. After a solid nap I bet I’ll be feeling like the cheery Italian man who’s oblivious to the distress he caused me.