How meditation is freeing from control

OK, so in my last post I suppose that I did not do a very good job of explaining why meditation and qi gong are so freeing. Or how what seems like might be inviting chaos actually eliminates it with practice.

I have a sense that meditation can be a very scary idea. I mean, you’re just sitting there and god knows what awful things can pop into your head, right? And there you’ll be, sitting like an idiot with anxiety that is shooting the roof, all triggery and flashbacky and god knows what other.

What I think many people try to do to control their thoughts is to suppress them when they come up. Like pushing them down deep inside themselves. Oftentimes this effort includes some sort of behavior, like drinking or drugging or manipulating their food intake. Or they panic. We exert these behaviors to get away from our thoughts because it’s hard to do all that suppressing. So we do what we do to make that process easier.

But here’s the cold hard reality. It doesn’t work. By restricting or poisoning ourselves we hurt our bodies and that’s about it. Think about it. If these behavior worked, if suppression worked, wouldn’t the nightmares in our heads go away? The sad truth is that no they don’t. We may feel a temporary relief from them, but because we aren’t addressing them they just come back. Over and over and over again. So we end up chasing our own tail, repeating self-harming tactics as we give our scary thoughts more strength because we’re still afraid.

And so. Can we see where all the shit we do to not feel to not remember just won’t work unless we deal with them head-on? You know the shit we do doesn’t work or we wouldn’t continue to be so afraid.

Thoughts are just that, thoughts. They come and go all the time. The ones that stick around are the ones we pay attention to. They’re kinda like cats. Lolling about most of the time, wake up to clamor for attention, then go back to snoozing. If your cat receives no attention from you she’ll eventually go away.

This is why meditation is so great. It teaches you to let the nightmares come into your head, lets you see oh there’s that pile of hot mess — and then just let it go. You don’t feed the beast. My regular readers know that I perceive myself to be a black hole where fuckall badness gets into me and sucks down right onto my head. For me, meditation allows me to sit at the bottom of my black hole and see what horrors are out there. But if I just let them be, refocus my mind onto something else like moving my energy around or focusing on the smell of my incense, they stay out there in orbit. They don’t come crashing in on me because I just don’t give them that power.

As we practice it gets easier and easier to do this. Imagine sitting there breathing playing around with your qi, and suddenly you’re aware that a horrible memory has popped into your head. You have the power to say “Eww god I do not want to go there” — and you don’t. You focus your attention on the tools at your disposal to not get sucked in by the frightening whatever. And the thought, getting no attention, floats away. It’s gone.

So you are actually dealing with these scary thoughts by putting them in their right place, which is out there not bothering you. They come in, they go away. They come in, they go away. In, away. In, away.

You can always pay attention to your whatever thoughts whenever you want to. You can feed the beast but you can do it on your time, when you want to. Like in therapy or in creative endeavors or writing. They will never go away completely. But you have in you the power to not have them take over your life. You can shut them down. You can just leave them be.

I used to think that I HAD to give my full attention to my nightmares for a number of reasons. One, what happened to me was my identity. I was a victim and I did not see that by re-traumatizing myself constantly I would have no self-identification. Two, I had to re-injure myself repetitively to know I was alive. Three, to prove that what happened to me did indeed happen. Four, I didn’t know any other way to live. Five, I identified so strongly with my perpetrators that I couldn’t imagine them not in my life. That weird attachment thing is really just gross but there it was for me. Six, it seemed to me that as long as I kept the old shit alive nothing new or more horrific could happen to me. Seven, I was addicted to a crisis life. Eight, I really thought that by keeping an eye on my nightmares I was controlling them.

None of this was true. It’s about living the best, happiest life I can. And that means putting down the weapons. Meditating and doing qi work are the best ways I’ve found to really deal with my nightmares. I have the power to just walk away. And so do you. I hope this makes more sense. Meditation is control.

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14 Comments

  1. WG said,

    July 8, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Who knew you were so wise?

    Now.. reading the statement “meditation is control” makes this control freak very happy. I will try it. πŸ™‚

    • July 8, 2010 at 10:36 am

      Hah I thought that might get ya ;). Any wisd I may have was hiding behind poor therapy that hade being a total wingnut. πŸ˜‰

  2. Karita said,

    July 8, 2010 at 10:32 am

    This is the only explanation of meditation that has ever made sense to me. Thanks. Maybe I’ll give it a go. πŸ˜‰

  3. Melissa said,

    July 8, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Can identify with 1, 2, 4 and 7. This is probably some of the reason that I find it so hard….which means it will probably me really really beneficial to me.

    Going to start small (2 mins a day) til I trust it, then let you know.

    xx

  4. July 9, 2010 at 5:01 am

    ok, I totally tried this last night and had a #fail – total inflooding of trauma-y nastiness. Still, I am inspired and will continue til I get it under control πŸ™‚

    • July 9, 2010 at 6:00 am

      Ah shite. I hope when it got to be too much that you just stopped hon? At first no more than 5 minutes. What happened if you wanna email me maybe I can help for the next time. God I’m so sorry hon. That tsunami of triggerishnesz–nothing worse. I am so sorry.

      • July 9, 2010 at 6:05 am

        Nah was ok. I got up and was fine. Just a minor #fail and was expected. It will work though eventually, I have the feeling… πŸ™‚

      • July 9, 2010 at 7:05 am

        Good. Try like 2 minutes to start. Just getting up is the perfect thing to do. That’s letting the shite go too, right? Glad wasn’t too horridly awful hon.

  5. mentallygoingbackwards said,

    July 9, 2010 at 11:09 am

    i still have to try meditating. i havnt felt the need to meditate as i have been quite positive. Is it best to try meditating the first time when you feel positive?

    • Splinteredones said,

      July 9, 2010 at 12:17 pm

      Well, if you have good stuff on your mind then yes. Starting out just a couple minutes is best. It can be draining. It’s a good head start on not sighing out if you’re not wigged at the first try ;). Thanks!

  6. Sheri said,

    July 9, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Great explanation, still too much of a chicken to try again after getting caught in a bad memory, but I’ll try again soon. I now understand what to expect and what to do about it.

    • Splinteredones said,

      July 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      Yup. Don’t for e anything, this counteracts the whole thing.


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