Stress is caused, is it not, by the internal dialogue – the incessant mental noise – that expresses itself in words and attitudes such as, “This should not be happening.”
I wrestle with this almost daily. There are many things that come into my life that are unwanted. Do you ever have similar challenges?
It is this voice in my head, though, that resists what is, worries over what is, and will not let go of what is. Instead, it is constantly at war and I become the wounded soldier in this battle that “should NOT be happening.”
Which is why my faith is so utterly important to me. My faith allows me the growing capacity – and it is growing, it is hardly an adult quite yet – to be the “watcher,” as they call it in the East. I believe it was Pema Chodron, the Buddhist monk whose unbelievable writings have touched me deeply, who calls this, “the witnessing presence.” In the Christian tradition, we would call this inner presence the Holy Spirit, or the Comforter, as Jesus referred to it. And, he promised this Presence would be with us forever.
But how are we to think of this Presence?
Here’s how I think about it.
The longer I live, the more aware I am of an inner stillness, an Eternal Presence, so sacred a Presence in fact, I feel in complete unity with it. In fact, to say “it” is not correct but I am limited with language to fully express what I am trying to say. But, what I am trying to say, is that I feel no separation from my own spirit. Maybe it is closer to the truth to say, I AM this Spirit.
So are you.
This inner unifying capacity enables me to observe my “monkey mind,” the little ego I too often mistaken for who I really am. I am not my thoughts. I am not the voice in my head. These thoughts…and the resistance that comes with it to whatever is occurring in my life…are just thoughts.
The Presence enables me to observe my thoughts and this observance creates just enough space between the I AM within and the the thoughts that would take me over. The more I observe, the more space it creates.
Inside that space, I am at Peace.
I am Comforter.
I AM the Spirit.
And, that’s always enough.
And, that includes you.