The Sun will come out tomorrow…

I am sitting here at work listening to a client screaming profanity of the most creative kind at the staff. She is upset, very upset and frustrated at not hearing from the housing agency on whether she was awarded a place to live.

I do not know if the hope for a better tomorrow pulsates in the heart of this client or if the hope is snuffed out with just another day of scamming, lying, cheating, drinking, smoking and scrapping.

I am sitting here at work listening to a client crying hysterically because she left her cell phone charging in the cafeteria to go to the bathroom and upon her return the phone was gone. Her anger and rage were not directed towards the loss of the phone but rather what the phone contained-the pictures of her son and lawyer contact.

I do not know if tomorrow will solve the location of her phone or if the loss of the pictures is the final push into severe depression and chemical abuse.

I am sitting here at work listening to a client singing a Whitney Houston song. She sings loudly off key and I secretly wish for earplugs to muffle the sound. But, I have no earplugs and the singing, (or more like a banshee in heat wailing) continues.

I do not know if tomorrow will bring the same happiness this client felt while singing or if the singing is replaced by extreme depressive outbursts once the drugs run out and wear off.

I am sitting here at work listening to the outside sounds of the neighbourhood I work in. It is a mixture of police and fire truck sirens, car horns blaring, garbage trucks rolling and loading, yelling and screaming with an occasional laugh thrown in.

I do know tomorrow will bring the same sounds, the same sensory abuse of the nerves and whether I am sitting at this desk or in another country, the same sounds will continue to repeat.

So goes another Monday morning of normal activity at the shelter. Rainy weather tends to brings out extreme emotional reactions as the clients are cooped up inside a cement block building with little activities to keep them occupied or distracted. The same holds for some of the staff who work in this same environment-forty hour a week.

To be or not to be…

I am THE self-saboteur of the most unflinching kind. The irony in honouring myself with the title lies in my inability to realize when my self- sabotaging occurs. I guess that’s why I’m so good at it-it takes years to discover the outcome of the self-sabotage but only seconds to execute and dissolve what might have been.

At this time, going into specifics and personal details of my past self-sabotages, would only ignite sadness. Picking through the rubble of horribly made decisions and rediscovering the skeleton remains of their consequences is not a good thing for the alma (soul). A quick backward glance at the past does permit clarity and sometimes answers into the cause of the self-sabotage but as long as the glance remains a glance. Wallowing in the realization of the destruction caused by self- sabotage can do permanent harm.

‘Googling’ a fixed definition on what self-sabotage is, resulted in endless hits of personal sites with personal testaments too endless to write in this blog.

Instead, I will write my own.

The act of self-sabotage is personal and involves disrupting the outcome of a possibly good thing unfolding for the self. For example, take an attempt to climb the corporate ladder. The credentials and degrees are in place, the years in the biz accumulated and the references secured but the interview for the VP of such and such departments takes less than 10 minutes. By wearing sneakers and not removing the large silver hoops in the nose piercings, the candidate sabotaged the chance for promotion. One could say, the forgetting to dress appropriate is legit, but seriously, if you really want that job or feel you truly deserve it, you would not forget to remove the piercings and most certainly would endure the pain of five-inch heels or shoe tip pinchers to get the job.

Of course, this is sedate compared to how far and deep self-sabotage can go.

Relationships can be self-sabotaged when one wants more than the other wants and seeks to cement an inseparable bond as in a pregnancy, which appears unplanned though really planned.  Feelings of worthlessness and creating situations which reinforce these negative feelings are usually led by self-sabotage as in: I’m fat, so I’ll keep on eating, since I’m fat anyway, and I’ll never get skinny, I might as well keep on eating, Lay’s potato chips, one chip at a time until the whole bag is gone…and then since I gained 10 pounds, I’ll get another bag…this ends here.

Is there a solution towards ending the self-sabotage reign?

I guess acknowledging the sabotaging is the first step. Then a search for triggers, which is what makes it happen to begin with, and then analyzing the possible root cause behind the self-sabotage.  And finally, finding help in coming to terms with it. stop-self-sabotage-behaviour

For me, self-sabotage is about control and negative feelings. Often, my worried state of mind tends to frolic in the past, skip through the present and sit anxiously awaiting for the grass to grow in the future. It is critical for my state of mind to be in the present.

As the sage Oogway in “Kung Fu Panda”, said to Po Ping, “…You are too concern about what was and what will be… Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift…that’s why it is called present…”

 

*illustration from the web

Thoughts on meditation…

As I continue my meditation practice, I‘ve come across writings, chanting, music, attended meditation sessions and the 14th Dalai Lama (no, we have not met, just through his writings). Needless to say, I am in the Buddha zone of the most delightful kind.

Exploring Tibetan Buddhism continues to be an adventure in discovery, critical thinking and practice. As I read various writings and teachings by lay persons and lamas, I gain clarity and new perspectives. Of course putting what I’ve learned to physical practice is different than reading about it.  Words in print can be glorified, oohed and awed over. Trying to get them to leave the page is another matter!

The Eightfold Path is one of many tenets within Tibetan Buddhism and shares similarities, in a strange way, with the Ten Commandments in that both are implemented towards spiritual growth and an enlighten way of life. The difference between the two, in my opinion, lies in presentation and tone. The Eightfold encourages changes which strive towards enlightenment while the Commandments, command. Do good, go to heaven, do bad…well we know where that leads to.

I was baptized a Catholic, attended Jehovah’s Kingdom Hall while a Catholic, later confirmed as an Episcopalian and now meditate as a Buddhist (or attempting – after all I am in the beginning stages). And no, I’m not imitating Pi Patel’s religious dabble from the book but at times it feels as if curiosity fuels the skipping, stumbling and jumping down the spiritual journey path.

The Eightfold

  1. Right View-See things as they are not what you wish them to be
  2. Right Intention-commitment to ethical behaviour
  3. Right Speech-abstain from false speech, no lies or deceit, abstain from harsh words or slanderous speech or to speak maliciously against others, abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose of depth
  4. Right Action-abstain from harming sentient beings,
  5. Right Livelihood-no dealing in weapons, in human beings (slave trade/prostitution), raising animals for slaughter, working in meat and production and butchery, selling alcohol or drugs
  6. Right Effort-to prevent unwholesome states
  7. Right Mindfulness-contemplation of body, contemplation of feeling,
  8. Right Concentration-meditation

The Ten Commandments

  1. Do not worship other gods
  2. Do not worship idols
  3. Do not misuse God’s name
  4. Keep the Sabbath holy
  5. Honour your father and mother
  6. Do not murder
  7. Do not commit adultery
  8. Do not steal
  9. Do not lie
  10. Do not covet

If I frustrate you, will you frustrate me…

imagesfrus•tra•tion
[ fru stráysh’n ]

1. dissatisfaction: a feeling of disappointment, exasperation, or weariness caused by goals being thwarted or desires unsatisfied
2. frustrating of somebody or something: an act or instance of causing somebody or something to be dissatisfied or unfulfilled
3. something that thwarts: something that blocks, thwarts, and upsets somebody all at the same time

-Frustration begins as a speck on my eyelash then erupts into a sty

-It consumes and attaches to the muscles in my neck and back with a vice-like grip, akin to a dog’s teeth holding fast to rawhide

-Seldom does a dog get frustrated at the rawhide, for the rawhide slowly unravels and dismantles under the endless gnawing leaving the sated dog justified

-My neck and back muscles clench up in the kind of tightness a heating pad will not ALWAYS dissolve

-My tolerance towards frustration is low, extremely low –Frustration+Low Tolerance=Stress

-AND that leads to mass consumption of Pringles original which adds layer upon layer of fat unto my belly which makes it difficult for my Gastroenterologist to feel my organs and let’s not mention what my Gyno goes through!!!!!

-Frustration is worse than the green-eyed monster for it is colourless and obscure, seeking shelter beneath all other psychological stuff, while jealousy…well it’s almost always apparent and it really is green!

-Cartoon characters are consistently forced into frustration in order to make the reader laugh, like poor Charlie Brown’s obsession with the football and its outcome

-or the Coyote

-the Wolf with the pigs

-Elmer Fudd

-Sylvester

-this stops here.

-If payroll is due by 5pm Tuesday and the supervisor in department A turns it in on Wednesday at 12pm would I be arrested for giving him/her Ex-lax disguised as Hershey?

-Frustration will be here FOREVER. How I choose to deal with its effects on me is my problem-only…

**image from the internet

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