The Meaning

My first cold in three years last week. Sick as a dog, I stayed away from everyone for 11 days (though at the 9th day mark, I did meet a friend outside, and patios hit every night after). S and I picnicked, which is one of my favourite things to do and my favourite ways to hang and my favourite ways to eat and my favourite you get the picture.

Sunshine. Heat. Energy flow. The best (all) picnics are slow slower and slower still and a nap has to happen at some point either with my head in your lap or yours in mine. It’s science. Falling asleep in the safety of a picnic’s heat is itself a conversation, and the best conversations aren’t had with words…

We were digging into the assigning of meaning to the nature of things. In my efforts to dissolve certain matters, to make sure there is no residue, and to instead land in compassion, this is a necessary step. It’s another thing which has turned out to be easier to undertake than I had originally imagined.

Observe the thing. Don’t do anything with or to it.
Let the thing show you the who/what/why of itself.
Stop here.

Anything beyond this is ascribing meaning to the thing, and that is usually never in service of our hearts. Because humans terrorize themselves, don’t we? Nine times out of ten, the meaning we give to the thing is absolutely the most rock-bottom trauma we can imagine.

We also usually place ourselves at the epicentre of a thing which has no consequence if we decide it is neutral – which is really what no meaning is. It’s a thing which is open, not a thing which is empty.

In fact, there is no emptiness anywhere. There are just varying degrees of density.

Here’s things. It may take a minute to go from ascribing meaning to neutrality, so perhaps an in-between moment is where you ascribe only meaning which is in service of your absolute most highest self and rooted in compassion for yourself. Nothing short of this because the world might devastate us if we don’t minimize its harm.

Give it a shot. Think about something traumatic which you experienced. Pull yourself out of the equation and observe the moment. Strip feeling. Neutralize it. The moment is not about you.

Easiest example, I imagine, is someone inflicting harm on you. Remove yourself; imagine you have no stake. What do you see instead? Don’t give it meaning. Just narrate it as though you are describing the colours and furniture placements in a room.

The sofa is forest green, made of velvet. It faces a large window which is open. Gossamer curtains are moving. There is a mushroom figurine next to a salt lamp on a dark chocolate-coloured end table which is rimmed with gold. She has no lights on, there are only candles. The carpet is a deep blue, and the wall above the sofa is covered in art work, etc.

Now make it your own and play the story out without the meaning. State facts only.

Consider how you feel now that / if you were able to do this. Come back and try again tomorrow if you couldn’t this evening. Trust me; it is in fact quite easy.

This weekend, it took me two attempts to round out the January moment I mention here. I am as shocked as you are, because how have I never done this in the past?

I narrated the moment without guessing, without assuming, and without judging. Everything linked to it just dissolved. And I haven’t looked at it since, until writing. There is no feeling of any kind linked to it either, anymore. Neutrality of the thing resulted in returned energy my way.

Because thoughts are energy, and energy absolutely needs to move. Which is why becoming stuck in a memory or moment is such a harmful experience, and it is the very antithesis of mindfulness. Me, I had been stuck in the January moment for nearly three weeks. Creation in amber, alive but incapable of breaking the amber until it was neutralized. Dust.

The amber is now dust.

And a cycle is broken. AlhamduliLaah.


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