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   Essays by Liah

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Sometimes regardless of our spiritual growth and development we “slip” and revert back to old behaviors. However, there are ways to avoid acting out our worst selves and instead access our deeper inner presence. For example, today all the wisdom I had gleaned through years of meditation, therapy, and self-awareness almost slipped away as I stood at the noisy car repair shop for the third time this week. I felt my blood begin to boil as the attendant told me they could not fix the problem that I thought had been created by them .Perhaps because my cell phone broke only an hour earlier, my normal kind demeanor had receded and instead I felt an angry red monster growing inside me that wanted to scream. Meanwhile, the loud grinding sounds of the shop assaulted my ears as I strained to hear the mechanic tell me the bad news. It was in that moment by the grace of God, I made a healthy choice.

Moments before I exploded, I stepped away and began to pace furiously up and down the sidewalk. I heightened my awareness of my breath as I walked wildly back and forth, while clutching my dead cell phone. Ten minutes later, as my breathing slowed along with my pace, I felt a wave of fear fill me which had been hidden by the anger. The fear was quickly followed by tears hiding deep inside. I felt very small and helpless without my car and phone, and I wondered how I would work and make money without these essentials. My survival mechanism had been triggered and my defenses were up. I imagined it would cost a good deal of money and time and much inconvenience to fix both of them.  I didn’t feel equipped to handle losing the freedom the car afforded me, or the connection to the world my Smart phone gave me. I was confronted with being solely in the moment, stripped of external escapes. I was stuck in time, in a place I did not want to be.

Then suddenly as if by magic, my gaze shifted from the sidewalk to the beautiful mountains in the distance. My anxiety was replaced with presence. I remembered that I am not alone.  I stopped walking and bowed my head, closed my eyes and asked to be relieved of my anxiety and to have it replaced with faith that all would work out OK. I felt a wave of gratitude begin to fill me. I knew I would get through this very human condition and my life would go on as needed.

We never know in life when we will be pushed to the limit of our patience until something happens that is beyond our control and we find ourselves losing our temper. It takes a concerted effort to change our reactionary response and choose peace instead. If we have put in the time meditating on a daily basis we have a reserve of peacefulness we can tap into and are more likely to find our way back to our loving selves faster.

Perhaps the key to avoid “slipping” is to pay attention to our bodies’ signals and interrupt the take-over of our emotions. Our soul’s wisdom is always there if we push ourselves to access it. Our ability to make healthy choices increases when we break free from our instinctual responses and choose instead our conscious inner presence which is our native wisdom.

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