9-15-19 Emotional Distractions

Emotional Distractions

Distraction – To cause to turn away from the original focus of attention or interest. An amusement that distracts. Extreme mental or emotional disturbance.

An ancient metaphor for how the hindrances obscure clarity of mind is a pond. When the pond is clean and the surface still, the water reflects our image (our true selves). The effect of sensual desire is like looking into a pond that has been dyed; we are predisposed to see unrealistically—that is, “seeing with rose-colored glasses.” When the heat of ill will is present, it is as if the pond water is boiling; no reflection is possible. Sloth and torpor are like having thick algae growing across the pond; again, no reflection is possible except by doing the difficult work of pulling out the algae. Anxiousness is like the wind churning up the pond’s surface. And doubt is like water filled with mud.

We can and should have a passion for something, which is wonderful, as long as it does not become an obsession and we get emotionally attached to OUR (possessive) crusade. We sometimes feel very emotional when someone we care about is hurting or harming themselves. If we get emotionally attached to their difficulty we are in no better shape than they are and cannot be of any help. We can be compassionate, with a deep awareness of their suffering and then be able to possibly be of help to them. Helping with just our presence is very powerful, we should not try to fix them, but can be available for them.

We need to make friends with, to accept as a part of who we are, the things that we thought we needed to get rid of, then we can quit being distracted and be more gently focused. We can become so used to our distractions that we believe that being distracted IS our natural state of mind, and mindlessly pursue distractions, while constantly grading how good or bad they are.

“Distraction is the very foundation of ego, the way we protect ourselves against both the pain of life and the open space of awakened mind. We look outward and blame external conditions for our (distractions). Distractions won’t ever disappear, but through meditation you can change how you react to them. We don’t just react to things outside us — we ourselves are continually      creating distractions. We cook them up and keep them  going. They are our companions, our pets. Working with distractions is a long term project. A gradual wearing down process. If we
truly pursue non-distraction we will end up with our aloneness, nothing to hang onto. In what seems to be a bleakness, we finally begin to relax. Christian stoics say you need to go through a dark night of the soul before entering into the spiritual presence.” Judy Lief 

To be some-one is to come from the ego. To be no-one is to be able to be open to everything.

In an addiction we muddy any clear seeing terribly. We become fearful and lonely. When we begin recovering from our fears we need to learn how to relate honestly and compassionately with ourselves and then with the rest of the world. This takes training and patience. But we see that it is so worth the effort to finally begin engaging in the world and respecting ourselves.
“Taking time to know myself was the most powerful process I’ve experienced, and being alone was the most authentic thing I’ve done.The more time I spent by myself, the more I got to know who I was and what I was about. And when I learned about myself, I found I no longer needed to distract myself from the parts of myself that I didn’t like.” Ashley Ryan

The essence is to not get ride of distractions but to be able to focus better on whatever you are doing, presence in the NOW, and when a distraction occurs to be OK with it, but to not indulge or avoid what is occurring. To TRUST ourselves, as we are. We are whole, competent, compassionate and worthy beings. We learn to not indulge or promote emotions that take us away from our intelligence and wisdom. Though many things should be ignored as they may be silly or not worth addressing, (we don’t go around with our ego’s on our sleeves needing to prove ourselves), we need to be strong enough to say no, or to speak up, when we should. We do not permit ourselves to be degraded or taken advantage of. Not standing up for ourselves when we need to, will enable bad behavior from others and promote a self-distancing from our courage and sense of rightness. We will feel disempowered and weak. Let your respect for yourself override any fear of any negative reactions from others. Do not permit others to determine your worth. 

Buddhist definition of Distraction – When the natural flow of sense perception is joined with and tainted by our emotions.

Beyond hope and fear, freed from success or failure, I’m learning what right action feels like, its clarity and energy. I still get angry, enraged, and frustrated. But I no longer permit my activities to be driven by these powerful, destructive emotions. I’ve learned to pause, BREATHE, come back to the present moment, and calm down. This becomes possible when I become present in the moment, and clarity emerges undimmed by hope and fear. Then I act, from a place that has a broader vision of what is healthy, beyond my small self of grasping or avoiding. We then feel a deeper sense of groundlessness and are comfortable with that. Margaret Wheatley 

                                                                                                                                                        When we retreat and shut down, or react in an aggressive way, this is a harmful use of our
emotions and comes from being too out of balance, of not believing in ourselves and trusting our basic goodness, of not feeling worthy. Do not be swayed by someone else’s aggression or fear. It may mean we do nothing, which can show true strength, or we step forward with compassion and honesty. Learn to breathe and re-connect with your strength and compassion.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.
”Heart Of Recovery web site  —  fcheartofrecovery.com