Choose to have a good day. Continue reading Conservation of energy II
From a previous post:
One may find one’s mind focused on an idea, person or situation, and one’s feelings toward that focus untoward. The practical needs of the moment may mean one can’t just “get your mind off it,” but one can possibly choose more desirable feelings.
One possible option sometimes is “flipping.” If I find I’ve just cursed someone, I can begin thinking and feeling the exact opposite, thinking, “God bless him,” and sending the person love, light and prayers. Thus usually entails a lot of chagrin for the sin I committed to start with.
Other times, the change — sublimation — may take more time and effort.
Feelings one may find objectionable — may not necessarily have to be so. It is hard for me to discuss or name some of the feelings involved, since for most of my life I never voluntarily let myself feel them, and I have only lately become willing to manage these limbs of my soul.
Feeling mean, being mean; being or wanting to be “hard;” “getting your game face on;” being aggressive: these are some of the feelings in question. To me, determination feels a lot like anger. But these feelings have their God-given uses, when one faces hard physical exertion or has to overcome obstacles. One like me, who wants to rise out of poverty, faces a ton of hard work and many obstacles to overcome. So I’m coming to accept, even welcome such feelings — and when they come, set my mind on situations where they may be useful. One example is to see myself climbing the ladder, up out from the pit of poverty, to the level ground of the social mainstream. It’s hard, and it’s OK to feel hard.
A very common situation: untoward sexual lusts. If one is in a presumptively exclusive relationship, lusts directed towards another need not be denied, repressed or sublimated, but instead merely redirected towards one’s partner. For single women and men, attraction to an inappropriate person can be redirected towards one or more appropriate persons — even if the object of one’s fantasy can only be purely imaginary.
It took me years to accept that these do, in fact, occur, and that they are what they are.
Unpleasant feelings may come out of nowhere, not in response to any event, and hang on for minutes or hours, unable to be sublimated.
Just as the physical body produces various wastes, including gaseous farts; it stands to reason that the soul also produces spiritual (emotional) wastes, including farts of its own.
One handles a soul fart the same as a bodily fart: just let it go, though the “smell” may inescapably abide for a while.
In the midst of a soul fart, it’s essential to know that this has no rational basis and is not in response to any event. One needs to step back from one’s feelings — put in the clutch, so to speak — and determine not to take anything too seriously, anything anyone says, anything that may happen. Hold off on any major decisions until after the gas passes, when one will have better judgment.
The most troublesome soul fart for me has been what I call “the Itch:” the desire for turmoil, the desire to find (or create) trouble, to be angry, even to possibly hurt others, and so on. I am coming more and more to accept it as a soul fart, and to stop beating myself up just because it happens. The chapter “About organized religion” will deal at length with a man who has an especially bad case of it; the possible karmic bases; and what he must do to be free.
A runner’s “stride” has two factors. First is the distance between steps — from where the toe of one foot hits the ground on one step, to where the toe of the other foot hits the ground on the next step. The second factor is the number of steps she or he takes per minute. Ideally, both factors are constant, so that the runner maintains a steady speed.
Sometimes an obstacle or interruption may come up in the runner’s path, that he or she will step in or on unless some adjustments are made. Could be a hole in the ground or a pile of doo-doo. In this case, the runner may shorten or lengthen one step in order to avoid stepping on the thing, and correspondingly lengthen or shorten the next step, so that overall her or his speed doesn’t change. This is “taking things in stride.” One can do the same with the obstacles or interruptions of life.
The afternoon of Tuesday, June 12, became a comedy of “What else can possibly go wrong?”
My Medicaid had got cut off because they required proof of income, and the only proofs I thought I had weren’t acceptable. I dreaded accessing their website because it’s impossible to navigate and never gives me enough information. I dreaded phoning them, because the person’s voice is always so faint on the other end of the line, I can’t hear the person. I found out that various centers are available where one can get in-person help. I found one nearby. They operate by appointment only.
So, to make that phone call, I went in the big plastic grocery bag where I keep about half my things, to the place where I normally keep my phone (off, to save battery). It wasn’t there.
I had carelessly left it on top of the table earlier in the day, and a specific passerby took it.
So I had to go replace it, in order to make that phone call.
Online I found a T-Mobile store at Lombard and Light Streets, and in due course I went there. They had a $75 phone on display, but the clerk told me it wasn’t in stock; that one was for display only. He said the other store, at Harborplace, had it in stock.
Half a mile distant. So I went there. The manager said the $75 phone wasn’t in stock, but she could give me a special deal on a different one for $100. So I took that.
By the time she finished what she had to do, it had become pretty urgent that I get back to the shelter, if I was to get a bottom bunk (preferred) or any bunk whatsoever — and not get turned away and have to shell out for a hotel room for the night.
Something else suddenly became more urgent, however: I needed to sit down in the bathroom.
So I finished at the store, asked where was the nearest men’s room, go did the necessary there (very messy), and set my sights on a fast trip to the shelter.
When the strap on my plastic bag broke.
Fortunately, I had an identical bag rolled up in my backpack, and was able to put all my things into that.
And, as it happens, wound up getting a bottom bunk.
Hours later, though physically worn out, I found myself in high spirits — because I had taken things in stride.
Related: Previous post, same title: Take things in stride
Miscellaneous notes about accepting bad feelings.
[First in a series.]
Vladimir Putin purportedly has a video of Donald Trump directing two whores to pee on a bed that Barack Obama slept in.
Some people think it’s scandalous.
I think it’s hilarious.
Some days ago, I had a mind to post on Facebook that Trump himself is the bed wetter.
Three incidents from Sunday 09/18:
(1) I caught the racial vibe as soon as she came in the room.
(2) In the middle of worship, I looked at my situation. I needed to touch base sometime during the service with _____, _____ and _____, any of whom might give me cash; for smokes, bus fare and candy. I also needed to touch base sometime during worship with each of three other people ISO a ride “home.” My petty, material, selfish neediness so preoccupied me, I couldn’t get into the spirit of worship at all. This did not feel good.
(3) At the shelter, in the shower, for a washcloth they gave me a strip of fabric that had been torn from a towel, two inches wide and six inches long. That was to be my washcloth.
I responded as follows.
16:03 Thursday 2016-09-08
A case on point.
Today as I walked toward the shelter, I contemplated that I am likely to have no smokes during the day tomorrow. How will I handle this; how will I feel about it? Factors:
• How important is it, compared to other things I may attend to?
• Can I take things in stride?
• (There was a third one, that escapes me just now.)
Then I arrived at the shelter. It was 15:25, and the gate was locked. In the end, I got turned away.
For the second time in two days.
It’s happened often enough lately that I may as well tell it.
When I go into the shower room at the shelter, often enough, unhappiness meets me.
The shower stall I prefer isn’t available, and I resent it.
This guy is taking up half the shower bench, and the other half is full also, and I resent it.
This other guy is taking up all kinds of too much time getting dressed, and I resent it.
As soon as I turn my attention to what I will actually do — where to put my clothes, choosing a stall that is available, and getting undressed in itself — all those bad feelings vanish.
Complaining means you’re not doing what you can.
Related: Here – Now – Can
“Live and let live” is a Recovery principle. In recent weeks, it has been “in my face” from many different directions:
- Recent challenges I’ve faced in managing my own feelings, have made me less judgmental of others who seem to me not to manage their feelings well.
- Pastor and I are not on the same page concerning the concept of justice. He is thus prone to say certain things in sermons that I don’t necessarily want to hear. But I am in no position to demand that he abandon what is, for him, an honest and impassioned point of view.
- Something in Jamilah King’s 12-16-15 .mic article hurt my feelings. I have not yet re-read it to determine what specifically it was. But if the mere expression of an opinion about social conditions can evoke that response from me, it does not bode well for what I hope to accomplish as William Tell the talk show host. William Tell must be able to “Live and let live.”
Ishmael showed up at the shelter for the first time last night. When he joined us in the crowd across the street waiting admission, his face said he’d already had a hard day. Something told me he might be a screwball.
I will soon have to find somewhere else to stay at night.
And eat, shower, and get clean clothes.
Sooner or later, it had to happen.
Sunday, about 14:00, I had just bought my second coffee at McDonald’s. I put it on my table and, as they require me to do, took all my things with me to go out and smoke.
Outside, I took one more shot at trying to understand how evil — negativity, conflict — happens.
There are those who say that evil is necessary because without it, humans would never be able to appreciate joy. I have never found this believable.
Continue reading The inevitability of evil