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September 14, 2009 at 6:37 am #139552JaxKeymaster
I’ve had a bit of a rough weekend, week, year…hard to tell at this point. I’ve been feeling a lot of frustration for multiple reasons. Thinking about it tonight I realized this one surface emotion ties into so many areas of struggle for Jedi: patience, awareness, living in the present, fear…basically, applying the Jedi path involves seeing how you are feeling and acting, figuring out why this is the case, and finding actions to change your current state. And that’s the challenge of working toward knighthood. This is the cycle I’ve been working through this weekend. I’m curious how other people go through their own processes.
While home, I could maintain a fairly decent mood without too much stress. I was able to meditate, enjoy leisure activities, basically go through the day fairly well. When I left the house I was quickly annoyed by people, especially people’s driving. I was impatient and my self talk was very negative and judgmental. This carried over into home life at times when I would be fine until asked to do something for my wife. It wasn’t always, primarily when I was in the middle of doing something that I wanted to do, often right after I had settled in. There’s actually a common theme between these triggers I realized – interruption of my desires. Change. A lack of control over my own life. Seeing what is happening emotionally, and then seeing a connection between them, I can begin to think more about the common triggers.
For me, the awareness part is the easiest. The why isn’t so easy. Recognizing that anything interrupting my desires sent me to a negative space isn’t enough. I had to figure out what else is contributing. For those reading my training journal, you’ll know I’ve been trying to figure out my career aspirations. I’ve been unhappy at my current job due to people. I’ve spent months thinking about what I really want to do with my life and unfortunately I’ve come to a conclusion that I can’t act on yet. I may not be able to begin acting on it for a year or more. When you’re quickly heading toward 31, an age when I expected a lot of things to happen already (like my doctorate, kids), it’s hard to see that you’re no closer to a career that makes you happy than when you started 8 years and almost $100,000 earlier. I don’t feel old, just like I’m falling behind in life, which I recognize as a thought not based on reality. And while I’d like to start working on music recording I’m not in a position to move forward on it. That leads to feelings of being trapped and not having control of my life, even though I recognize these are decisions I’m making because I’m unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary at the moment to move forward. So, my work situation is contributing to this feeling of not being able to do what I wish in life, that I lack options which means I am unable to act on my desires.
This boils down to impatience, a universal Jedi struggle. I don’t like waiting for things to fall into place, even though I trust that they will fall into place. Part of what makes waiting hard is fear, another universal struggle. At work I’m not doing well and feel like I’m forgetting more than I’m learning, for no obvious reason. It’s like my brain has just quit learning. So at work I live with a low grade fear that I’ll be found out as a fraud or failure, on top of the fear of being screwed over by others. This adds stress which makes me feel like I’m on a timer, finding a new direction before I’m fired. This is a situation I went through when in the Marine Corps, figuring out the timing of my getting out before my record was messed up by either my misstep or someone else finding a way to ruin it. Then the situation worked out but I missed out on my benefits by moving a month and a half too early. I don’t want to make the same mistake (if it even was a mistake) so I have to reign in that fear and impatience. Acting from a place of negativity, while not automatically bad, rarely turns out as well as it could have.
Realizing all of these contributing factors, there isn’t anything I can do about many of them right now. So I have to make a choice: continue feeling frustrated or find something I can do to make things a little better. I realized one last contributing factor is a feeling of overwhelment in my life. One of the reasons I get overwhelmed is because I get out of the moment and focus on the future too much. I’ve spent days looking for jobs, trying to find a career, ponder how to move forward in life…anything but focus on the present. This results in day to day activities slipping aside, including work activities. So the first thing I need to do to regain balance is a shift in focus to the present. I have to keep telling myself that it doesn’t matter that I can’t see my future, it’ll come if I simply follow my path. Right now my path involves a whole lot of faith. Next, I need to focus on what I can do. I’ve used cleaning as therapy in a sense. I’ve gotten rid of things that were just clutter. I’ve cleaned things that hadn’t been clean since we moved in. This removes stagnant energy and gives me a living space that’s more relaxing and supportive for growth. I’ve also made sure to attend to the most important elements of the day, such as my cat’s insulin injections and my wife’s medications. These are all things I can control that also add positivity. In addition, I’m working on projects that have been on my to-do list for ages and have always taken a low priority to whatever else comes up that sounds more interesting. By attacking my to-do list I reduce the overwhelmed feelings, thus I reduce my stress levels.
With any situation there are two basic ways to attack it. You can go for the biggest issue and chop at it until you resolve the problem, leaving the small stuff for later. Or you can focus on the small things that may not make a difference individually but once added up the result can be as useful as trying to tackle the biggest stuff.
I was thinking back to high school today, when I felt this feeling so profoundly, even worse than it’s been in my adulthood. Then my instinct was to run, to drive as far as my car would take me. Anything to feel free. Now, more than a decade later I’m learning to control this instinct more and make the chances I can. It’ll still be a struggle, and it’ll be documented at times in my training journal. But hopefully seeing my process can help. It’s a process I’ve been figuring out along the way, so if you do things differently I’d love to hear about it.September 14, 2009 at 1:50 pm #152585Jedi_PhoenixModerator
Man Jax, I here ya! I know that feeling of frustration all too well, which inevitably leads to my depressions; but the fact I can make that trace is progress for me. As far as what I do with the frustration, I think of a couple things.
Two thoughts of school come to mind: one coming from the Soul perspective and two from the emotional perspective. The Soul perspective: maybe your putting the oars in the water and fighting the current. I think, personally, that sometimes when we try to analyze things or ask why, that is as much fighting the current as anything else. Sometimes it’s just trusting that process (something you know I’m working on right now too!)
From the emotional perspective….it sounds like your fighting your desires, which you’ve already said. But I like the to-do list idea. That’s what I’m doing after I realized I’m fighting MY desires. But when I did a normal to-do list, that overwhelmed me more. Remember when I said I felt more Jedi because I was making progress on my to-do list? It’s because I switched my mind frame of a ‘to-do list’ to my life goals and ambitions and setting realistic time frames, but not being crazy either. For example, one of my goals by the end of the year was that 90 day guide. Well after my first two weeks of school, I realize I got overly ambitious with myself, and overestimated my time and energy, so I had to compromise. I decided that I would commit to something like that during the summer, when I had less distractions, and finish out the year by continuing with my Theme of the Year: working on my well-being- spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically!
And I know you know all this because this is what you’ve taught me through the years, but I’m sharing it to maybe help others… but those things are what I try to remember, self talk myself through, etc to help me integrate my path. But the one thing I’ll never forget because I try every day and it’s a battle for myself , is to show compassion towards my own self and path. I can’t beat my self up because I forget something, or miss something. I have to accept it and move on.
But it also sounds like your doing meditation, which I forget to do too! I think that helped me a lot, especially with work; and now that that environment has become beyond unstable, I need to stay centered as long as possible! Lol…September 15, 2009 at 5:05 am #152588JaxKeymaster
Good points, and thank you for reminding me of things. Even if I am the source of that knowledge for you, I still need reminders. I don’t think I’m fighting my desires. actually I’m trying to feed them in ways that I can handle. For instance playing Rock Band and Guitar Hero drums. It’s making me a better drummer, getting me closer and closer to the drummer I was as a teenager.
What am I fighting? hmm…At work I’m fighting the fight or flight desire. I can’t confront the people causing trouble without looking like the idiot. I can’t just run because i have to support my family. plus, running would mean I’m acting from fear and while it may feel good for a day or two and then I’d have to cope with probably making a bad decision.
What’s helping, ironically enough, is researching for Personal 102. Which shows me it is time to work on the course. Thanks for your feedback.September 25, 2009 at 5:49 pm #152709Magdelene NashiraParticipant
Complicated situation. I’m not sure that I can be that much help as the work world has always been my place of difficulty also. However, I did have something that stuck out to me and that is the statement you made about the people at work being so difficult. It seems like everything else springs from that. I think if you focus on the problem of those people, the rest should untangle itself. I wonder if it is the job itself or if it is just the people. I know people at work can make a big difference as to how the job feels. Have been there many times. I’ve had jobs that were similar in most respects and the only difference was the people I worked with. So that leaves you in a place of trying to deal with difficult people.
I’ve done a lot of work and study about dealing with difficult people. However, one thing I’ve learned is that sometimes if it’s bad enough the only real way to cure it is to get the negative people out of your life. You’ve found a long term solution to that, apparently, but in the meantime maybe you could work on a short-term solution. You say you can’t confront them, but instead of confronting perhaps you could use the same thought in a different way. Perhaps tell them that you have a question. Phrase it as a question or other type of approach. The key is to take ownership of your own feelings when you talk. For an example, to say “I’m having difficulty” rather than saying “You’re causing me a problem.” That way it isnt really directed at anyone, but it does open up discussion. Other than that, what I would suggest is to just try to keep focussing on the fact that because others react negatively to us doesn’t necessarily make them right. Then try to focus on anything but the people. Focus on the work itself.
Hope that helps. I know those siutations suck. I just got out of a job that I’m glad it was a temperary job for that reason.
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