Enlightening the Passions – Day 18 (Madame J. visits)

You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can decide how you’re going to live now. — Joan Baez

Had an interesting encounter with my old friend jealousy – Madame J. –  today. Interesting, because when I expected her to come and burn up my heart-solar plexus area, give me a belly-ache and a tearing at my guts, all she did was to give me some sadness and a sentiment of constriction around the heart.
Maybe I don’t need that gut-rattling anymore. Maybe the in depth work-out with my feelings has flexed my feeling-body so that it now doesn’t hit me that hard anymore. Maybe I breath deeper most of the time. Maybe the avalanche is just waiting to hit me some time later, today or tomorrow. Maybe…
I don’t know. This is just happening.

There is a shaky sense of uncertainty often during the day, but – apart from the jealousy in it’s soft version – I don’t think there has been any headline in my mind coming up to explain it. So I reckon it to be part of the new form of jealousy I’m confronted with now…
But actually it sounds too strange to put the slightly shaky uncertainty in one pot with Madame J. Shouldn’t I reserve that feeling for the more dramatic moments in my life? Maybe Madam J.; I just think, is the dramatic appearance and make-up of Miss Uncertainty? There seems to be a ring of truth to that, at least I’ve got this gut-feeling that tells me, “Hey Mushin, this does make sense.” Whatever the case may be, I guess as time progresses – and it always does; except for photons that know no time – I’ll see what this morphs into.

In a work related online meeting that went on for 2+ hours (on reflection later) I noticed that not once did I feel under attack when suggestions and proposals I had spent quite some time considering and preparing were not taken up, and one time the word ‘pedantic’ was used in connection with a wish for changing some terms we use… and not even then did I take this as something that was saying anything about me personally. I didn’t tell myself, “Don’t take this personal.” I didn’t tell myself anything, I just was attending to what appeared on my radar mentally, emotionally and whateverly.
I didn’t notice at the time that this was going on and my “Don’t say anything I don’t want to hear about my stuff because I take it personally” wasn’t on the alert in the background, but when reflecting on it this is amazing! And what’s most astonishing is that enriched with this experience I can now look back in my past and see how personal everything used to be! A remark that surely only related to some tiny aspect of my work or something I had done was often a cause for elaborate defenses, irritation or feeling really hurt.
Not wanting to go into rose-cloud-mode with this I’m not going to overvalue this happening, and I’ll tell myself that this is not caused by the practice I arrived at with this experiment- but it is encouraging nevertheless.

— I just heard the wonderful news that one of my heart’s brothers has become father. And seeing the pictures of the lovely new one, the mother and him the frail and robust beauty of our human condition touches my heart as well as remembering all the feelings that came my way in the time of my girlfriends pregnancy, during the birth and during the first days and weeks.
There, for a very short time, unrestricted feelings abounded…

Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)

Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)