The alarm went off nice and early, I heard it - stretched and told myself: "Today is my Sunday - I'll sleep in"*. A conscious decision - sort of.
It was conscious in the fact that it was a decision; I didn't sleep through the alarm, I heard it and decided to grant myself extra time in my cozy, warm bed.
But it wasn't a totally conscious decision - I forgot the fact that I'd agreed to feed the pooch this morning. And I half forgot that I do my best writing early.
So, maybe we can call it a semi-conscious decision.
Before my feet hit the floor the voices started:
#@%$! I'm already behind with writing. Why did I have to sleep in? #@%$! I'll never get it all done today. #@%$! #@%$! What happened to the post I was writing on Friday? Well, it's old news now. Wow, I'm really behind today! #@%$!
Then the pooch greeted me. And I remembered that this was my morning to feed her. #@%$! How could I forget my dog?!? #@%$! #@%$! #@%$!
There were lots of #@%$!'s - and, of course, lots more bitching about what I didn't do, can't do, won't get to, should've done or already effed up (let's not even talk about the Candy Land incident!).
Because, when you let one of those voices in, all of a sudden it's a party (or a choir, anyway. Of bitchy voices. Who are all singing verses to a song called: You're wrong!).
What to do?
I could ignore the voices (yeah, that works); could do the smiley, it's-all-good deal; could do the stiff upper lip, lock-'em-in-the-basement-or-drown-'em thing (either of which feeds my Shadow)...
I could make a different decision - a fully conscious decision! I could pay attention, sit with them, see what they want.
Do you know Rumi's poem, Guest House? It starts:
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
He further advises us to:
treat each guest honorably...meet them at the door laughing and invite them in...because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
But I remembered something. I remembered that there's no legitimate way (no way that works) to sneak around those negative voices, annoying feelings - those challenging emotions; I have to sit with them first, listen to find out what they want...
take Rumi's advice and "treat each guest honorably". They always have a reason, always point to something.
And then I can do positive things about my perspective - after the voices have been honored, listened to. Then they come out of the Shadow and relax a bit...and sometimes they'll even sing happy songs.
Have you tried The Guest House Approach with your #@%$! voices?
*this past weekend my granddaughter came over for her long-awaited holiday visit. So we celebrated Second Christmas, which involved waking up extra early on the weekend mornings (that's why I called today, Monday - my Sunday).