I’m writing on my phone while sitting in a waiting room at St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto. Quentin has some tests today. He has a chronic heart condition. It doesn’t effect him very often, but every couple of years it reminds us not to fool ourselves into thinking death comes some time off in the distant future. It happens anytime to anyone. Every minute counts. I’m thankful to have this incredible reminder system because it has shaped both of our lives in the most extraordinary way!
So I’m here in the waiting room and am experiencing a wonderful high…the kind that only a non-coffee drinker can obtain after drinking mocha.
I started my energetic experiment last night at my gig and it failed. I seemed to have completely forgotten my own frailty and the battle I have in holding my energy in the very best conditions. Yes, I can use music to help encourage changes in my own energetic state but I forgot how sticky I am when it comes to how things sound. Poor sound quality drives me crazy, but it is even more frustrating when my instrument is not working properly. Right now, as I recover from voice issues, I seem to have only one volume: loud. So when I try to sing quietly and concisely, it comes out in a series of embarrassing squeaks and whispers. This causes me to feel tension, which then pulls me completely out of presence. All intention of sinking into songs and letting them carry me away fly out the window. So I’m going to go ahead and say I’ll keep experimenting, but with some seriously lowered expectations for myself 🙂 I’m just a human. Not a hero. Not a leader. Just a human roaming around like so many other humans…wondering what my purpose is…and trying to find things to cling to that are “right.”
Speaking of wanting to be right….
I’m in this waiting room watching most people whispering quietly, reading or staring at their phone…but there is ONE woman who is happily video calling her family and friends. She’s basically yelling and laughing with them as though they haven’t spoken in years… now she’s watching funny videos at full volume…and laughing like nobody’s watching. I have been judging her. She’s disrupting this whole room. I want her to join in and be quiet like the rest of us. I want her to notice us and sense our need for quiet reflection. She is oblivious. Or, perhaps she is NOT oblivious…which would deepen my judgment of her. I’m surprised by how violently I want her removed.
The thought that’s coming up has to do with something Allan Watts said. A team of geneticists had asked him what kind of human they should create to populate the world? (This was in the 1960s) Allan Watts told them (I’m paraphrasing here) to make sure they create a variety of humans because we have no idea what kind we will need in the future. Do we need the quiet, introspective type? Or do we need the aggressive, action takers? Perhaps something in between?
It has occurred to me that I’ve been aggressively cheering for the quiet, introspective type of human for quite some time now. And, strangely, I don’t think I even fit into that category…it’s just a category I’d LIKE to fit into. My goal is to find consistent inner peace, but it seems to me that as soon as I start feeling this way, my ego jumps right in and I start feeling like the rest of the world needs to experience this too…because their experiences are not as awesome? Many of my meditations involve encouraging my mind not to consider speaking of meditation to others. (see what I did there…I just spoke of meditation.) I’m like that new mother who encourages others to have a baby! How does she know what’s best for them? How does she know she’s going to feel the same when her baby is 18 and stealing money out of her purse? I, currently think the best-case scenario to create world peace is for everyone to collectively agree that we don’t know what’s best for anyone. We are driven by the need to be right…and it’s killing us.
Back to the waiting room…how do I work this out? Byron Katie might ask things like this:
Have I ever stolen the silence out of a room when it was not wanted?
Yup, too many times to name.
What does this woman need to do?
She needs to shut up and stop exposing her life on the rest of the world!
Do I think need to shut up and stop exposing my life to the rest of the world?
Arggg, I don’t want to go down this path anymore…but I think it’s too late…I think I just realized that I judge myself for exposing my life to the world…perhaps not in a public waiting room…but definitely in other ways…like this blog!
The ending of this conversation is going to be: can I stop judging her and allow her to do what she thinks is best for her?
And I know that if I can stop judging her, I’ll stop judging myself.
So, through gritted teeth, I am looking for some positive things this woman is doing for the world. Is it possible that that I’m the only one who she’s bothering? Nope…the guy who is sitting beside me is CLEARLY more bothered than I am. But there are other people here. Perhaps someone who has a sore tummy is glad for all the ruckus so that we don’t hear his rumblings? Perhaps there is someone who needs a momentary distraction from their own life and this one is just perfect? Maybe someone forgot to contact a family member and this loud woman just reminded them? Even in my case, this woman has illuminated a judgment I have of myself which will prove to be very helpful if I can learn to accept it.
Well, I’m starting to feel less annoyed. I’m definitely not her cheering section, but I can see the benefits to having her in this room and in this world.
Lucky for me, Quentin has just walked by in his hospital gown (so cute in blue : ) and given the 2-minute sign.
Yours in aggravation and humility,