"I don't like that"


A client was recently telling me about the feeling of anxiety that she sometimes experiences.  “I don’t like that” she repeated several times. 


Most of us can think of things and people that we don’t like or even hate, if not all the time, at least some of the time.  In the reality of our interrelatedness with everyone and everything, this means that we maintain relationships with these things and/or people that are effectively ‘unloving’.  By ‘unloving’, I mean ‘not free, peaceful, joyful and open to all possibilities’.  How can we feel free, peaceful, joyful and open when our overriding feeling is one of dislike, hatred, contempt, aversion/avoidance?  For even as we are held by these overriding feelings, we continue to feed and strengthen them with our thoughts and the actions that arise from such feelings.  Is this what we really want? 


I invited my client to ask herself what she really wanted.  Just thinking about it brought about a shift in her mindstate.  She began smiling.  I watched as her whole body started to relax and as she sighed with relief, or release J. 


She wanted to feel free, open, peaceful, joyous.  “Well”, I said, “intend it.  Don’t preoccupy yourself with how it is going to happen.  Just intend it with your whole being”.  And so she did.  She reported several days later that she had ceased feeling anxious and was looking forward to the very thing that she felt had brought on the anxiety in the first place.


Of course, nothing and no one causes us anxiety.  It is merely a potentiality that arises within our mindstream as a result of past associations; in other words, as a result of our conditioning.  We strengthen the feeling by giving it our conditioned attention and by losing ourselves in it, i.e. by identifying with it. 


We are sometimes advised to ‘fight’ our ‘demons’.  In my experience, fighting keeps us in a state of unhelpful and often destructive engagement.  On the other hand, if we can bring our awareness to those moments of anxiety (or any other thought or feeling that disturbs our natural state of peace, joy, freedom, openness - love), we enter into what can be called, the ‘space or gap of free choice’, or authenticity.  Here is when we can recognize that our feelings come and go in accordance with the law of impermanence of all phenomena.  Here is when we can intend afresh with our whole being:  May I experience peace, joy, freedom and openess. 


It is worth considering how debilitating and burdensome it is to maintain relationships with things and people that are ‘unloving’ (not free, peaceful, joyous and open).  It does not matter what or who these may be – the weather, certain legislation, a politician, my mother whom I have not got on with for as long as I can remember, the weeds in my garden, the pain that I am feeling in my back, my father many years deceased etc. 


When we identify with and maintain feelings that close us off, that drive us into avoidance, that keep us feeling anxious, afraid, doubtful, ashamed etc, we are effectively resisting and restricting the flow of our natural (energy) state; the life force or love force as I like to call it. On the other hand, it really is as simple as intending  to change the nature of our relationships and allow the life/love force to flow freely once more.


Change is literally only a thought/intention away J – Lucy Lopez