File:Environs de Louveciennes, 1876 - IMG 3565x.JPGI know that it is better for me to get up around 7.30, keep a routine of counting breaths, and shower before breakfast, and in the evening to count breaths before ten, then go to bed. In the moment, at eleven, I choose to watch more TV rather than to count breaths. I know that checking the dashboard on my blog is pointless, and I still do it. The choice I make in the moment is different from the clearly obvious choice in quiet contemplation at another time.

Mmm. “Counting breaths”. “Meditating” has so many connotations, not all of which I think I deserve. “Counting breaths” is more neutrally descriptive. I must not claim more than I do.

Those “bad” choices in the moment numb my feelings. Meditating makes me face myself, which I find difficult and unpleasant. “The one person whom I cannot avoid”-

OF COURSE I CAN AVOID HER! I can avoid her for years at a time! I can deny and suppress her, stick my fingers in my ears and chant loudly, turn away. After I glimpse her, I can keep doing that, and though I know at some level when starting that next programme that counting breaths, being with her, is better for me I often choose not to.

There is no health in us– Oh, there is health, so many times I make the right choice.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Well, I do understand it: fleeing myself makes a great deal of sense, and when I decide to face myself I must realise how difficult this is, and not try to do it all the time. Don’t run before I can walk.

6 thoughts on “Choices

  1. We are our own worse critics. I’ve had a few bad weeks and quite frankly, am absoutely delighted to be rid of September. The voices in our heads say things to us we often wouldn’t dream of saying to people who aren’t even on our Xmas list (other festivities are available). And yet we listen to them way, way too much.

    Facing ourselves – it’s tough, but necessary. I know that sometimes I use writing to do that, sometimes I do it to hide and mask what’s going on. If I deposit myself in an imaginary world for a while, I don’t have to deal with naughty, rude, irascible, jealous me. At least for a while.

    There’s no magic, easy, short-cut way to continue the good work. Just to know that if you ‘fail’ to pay attention to yourself today, there is always tomorrow.

    If only it were as easy to believe! 🙂


    • Two kinds of criticism. There is the child in a tantrum criticism, where I am screaming at myself things I would indeed never say to another, and there is the patient attempt to see. I want always to be doing the good work, without that tired noticing that I am not doing it, and the dragging myself back to it. I want not to fail. I want not to feel unpleasant emotions. “It is normal”. “It is not so bad really”. “Always we begin again”.

      We learn these things, together.


  2. All this tiredness, the pain behind your eyes and heaviness in your limbs. Do you respect it without judgement and rest for a while, or do you make painful and hopeless bargains with yourself that tomorrow will be different? Do you clog up your present with worry about the past or fear for the future, or do you just go outside for a walk? Outside your room, you will discover that the person you say you hate with such vehemence is waiting to be held and loved, for there is nothing hateful in her.

    You are arguing with yourself, trying to avoid the inevitable truth that, no-matter what you might try to convince yourself of – oh, and don’t we all try so hard! – there is nothing that needs to be avoided.. When you are still, and listen, there is only love. The singing birds know that, and so do the trees dropping their leaves. Why do we make such work for ourselves?

    Of course, we run and hide and wonder why. Many people spend lifetimes trying to get their heads around “Why????!!!!” But don’t bother. Why = crucifixion. What, (as in, “What am I going to do about this?”) is resurrection. Go for a walk, especially in the morning.

    Have a hug or fifty.

    XXXX 🙂


    • Why is crucifixion, what next is resurrection. Mmm.

      I make painful and hopeless bargains with myself. However much I let myself get away with, I always think I should do more “right action by my own judgment” than I do.


      • But your judgement does not really see the value of what you do, so what use is judgement? Just put judgement to one side, or step away from it. Be silent for a while. You don’t have to do all this thinking, you know. You can let God do it for you, by letting Her do what she does best. Unconditional love has no judgements and always sees the best in every situation. Can we emulate that? We can try, peacefully.


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