I know that I have talked about equanimity before in my weekly meditations; however, it seems to be rather fitting to discuss this week, especially during what seems to be a rather trying time for a lot of folks. Equanimity entails "Calmness of mind, composure, and an ability to maintain neutrality, particularly in challenging situations." I recently pulled out another one of my favorite books called Buddha's Brain by R. Hansen and R. Mendius (2009). I love their chapter on Equanimity as they remind us of our ability (often with practice) to find space inside ourselves where we tap into neutrality, void of too much attachment or too much aversion.
I've also been listening to Dr. Patrick Carnes' 40-Day Focus Cd lately (from Carnes' Recovery Start Kit for individuals recovery from intimacy disorders). He describes an addict's denial and how deceptive the addicts' voice is in trying to sway an individual to act out in self destructive ways.
"The addict" part of a person is often addicted to drama, attaching to chaos and untruths in every moment. They keep the individual swimming in deceit and confusion.
I know when I am sitting in front of a client whose addict is present because they are completely void of equanimity. They argue, blame, manipulate, defend their position, and are closed off to feedback.They attach to fighting what is the losing battle of addiction in an attempt to find their way. This obviously hasn't worked for them, thus their true self has sought treatment seeking answers.
Is this you? Can you relate to this inner struggle between who you truly are in your functional self~ that part of you that is learning how to calmly, logically, and in a neutral way navigate your recovery~verses the addict part of you that creates internal chaos and confusion inside of you, attaching to assumptions and lies with the goal of keeping you sick?
How is it possible to gain equanimity when there feels like a constant internal battle going on inside your head? First it is important to acknowledge who is talking….
Is it you as a functional whole-hearted person, or is it your addict, or vulnerable child? Remember that the vulnerable part of you will feel small, scared and timid. Or is it your addict who wants to argue, make demands, control others, manipulate situations, and blame people?
Write down what you hear inside your head. You would be amazed at the internal dialogue once you put it on paper. I have clients who have said (in relation to their addict talking), "I can't believe I even thought or said that!"
Next, see if you can observe the observer, meaning see if you can step outside of yourself (while not dissociating) and observe your thinking. This may sound strange; however, it is a tried and true technique for noticing yourself from a more neutral and objective place. JUST NOTICE. See if you can identify why you are attaching to chaos or drama in reality or in your head.
Finally, see if you can move into a neutral place with how you see a certain situation, person, or loved one. Can you remove the emotional attachment from the experience altogether? Can you breathe into a space of calm while noticing your surroundings from an internally quiet place?
With practice and in time what you will start to notice as you come from a place of equanimity is that you are less reactive to day-to-day events, people, places, situations, and things. You will gain clarity as to when something is your issue and when it is not. You will find a consistent place of peace and calm, even in the midst of chaos.
Doesn't that sound like the kind of life we all deserve to live in?
Remember, You are worth it in All Ways, Always!
Namasté (I honor the divine in you),