It's Raining Thoughts
I was being pummeled by thoughts. They ran the gamut from a heavy downpour, to a moderate steady flow, to a light drizzle. Without an umbrella, I felt very emotional. Vulnerable. Just when it seemed as if the rain might stop and I could breathe deeply again, I was pelted by a new stream, even stronger than before.
Here’s my story.
We were uninvited from a July 4th pool party by a family member. First, we were invited. When I decided we would bring my son, Kyle, there was a miscommunication, and then we were essentially uninvited. It wasn’t okay to come to this party and bring Kyle too. There is a person, maybe more than one, in my family who is uncomfortable around Kyle. Kyle is 31 and has autism. He can be loud sometimes. His behavior is not typical. His differences are obvious. Some people don’t know how to interact with him.
Kyle is capable of being at his best when outside the house. Even quiet. We have been working on helping him control his volume and he can do it. He has risen to the occasion over and over in his life (weddings, ICU, family gatherings with other people’s families, etc.) Yeah Kyle. Sometimes people who see him at the house don’t get him or see what’s possible. I am partially responsible. But that’s a different conversation for another time.
I’ve never been uninvited to anything before. Ouch. So after the uninvitation conversation, I felt a surge of emotion. Hurt, anger, sadness, rejection, yuckiness, frustration. It lodged in my belly. Thoughts create emotions and feelings. Emotions take up residence in the body. Especially the gut.
Because I’ve been knee deep in noticing and exploring the power of thought lately, I became keenly aware of my thoughts. Kindling wood for the flame of emotion, they were so powerful. They rained down on me fast and furious. They felt so real. So justified.
There were the self righteous, mama bear thoughts. How dare they. They were quite loud. Even though it was my son who wasn’t welcome, because of my tight connection to him, I took it personally. Ow. Then there were the judgments….after 31 years, blah blah blah. There were also the self judgments…shoulda, coulda, woulda help people accept and really know my son. This is just a sampler of the thoughtstorm that repeated itself.
After awhile, I just wanted them to stop. But thoughts are what humans do. And these just kept coming. It seemed like I was trying on different thoughts as a way to come to terms with the situation. Like shoes that weren’t quite the right size and color, I couldn’t find one to suit me.
In fact, I didn’t see a single thought that served me. But the deluge continued. Breathe, change the conversation, have a new conversation, distract myself. Thoughts hiding but still lurking in the background. Tightness in the belly. Tears lurking. Dang thoughts. I’ve had enough already. Thoughts disguised as questions. What “should” I be thinking? Don’t I have the right to take this personally? Isn’t this justified? How is feeling miserable serving me? It’s not, but dang, I will not give in. How can this be okay?
Thoughts were clogging my pathway to inner wisdom and inner peace. I was aware but very stuck.
Hail, rain, drizzle. Ouch. Hail, rain, drizzle. Ouch.
Twenty-four hours later, while on the treadmill, I decided to relisten to one of Michael Neill’s (supercoach.com) talks on Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. I had listened to this talk before so the principles were not unfamiliar. Intellectually, they made sense. But I had only just begun to experience the power of them.
Suddenly, very suddenly, something shifted within me.
Without effort, my thoughts slowed down and I saw something I had not seen before. Actually, I didn’t just see it. I heard it. I felt it with my being. I GOT IT. Loud and clear.
Here’s what I suddenly KNEW, that I did not get before: THIS WAS NOT ABOUT ME. THIS WAS NOT ABOUT MY KYLE. THIS WAS NOT ABOUT MY KYLE’S VALUE AS A HUMAN.
This was about a family member and his discomfort. It was all about him. To take it further, it was all about the way his family did not want to feel discomfort in their house during the party. It is common to run from the potential of discomfort. We all do it.
Words can’t quite fully express what happened. I got it. I really really got it with every fiber of my being. Suddenly, I felt sorry for him, for them. From there, I felt compassion. I experienced a softening. Without will or force, the rainstorm subsided. My gut relaxed. Without effort, it was now ok. Truly ok.
We feel our thinking and our thinking hurts us sometimes.
The good news is, our thinking is not reality. It is just our thinking. It may seem like reality, the way we become absorbed in a really good book or movie and it feels real while we are engaged with it. But in the end, we get to close the book or walk out of the theatre. We know it was only a story.
And so it is with our thoughts. Our thoughts are our stories. When they begin to slow down, we can close the book and experience something different. This gives our wisdom the space to shine through and open us up to something new. A shift. A new way of seeing or being.
It’s easier to see the rainbow when I’m no longer caught up in the stories of the rain.