March 17th, 2009

single deer

Tolle Tuesday...

I’m starting a theme, which I can’t promise to do every week (though I might): Tolle Tuesday. Eckhart Tolle is one of my favorite non-fiction writers, and as his words have helped me in a number of situations, I thought I would share a little every week.

My first quote (I randomly opened the book and found this):

If there is unhappiness in you, first you need to acknowledge that it is there. But don’t say, “I’m unhappy.” Unhappiness has nothing to do with who you are. Say: “There is unhappiness in me.” Then investigate it.

Photo by me

For me, this is all about distancing – if I can distance myself from the power of the emotion I’m struggling with, then I can better deal with it (and even experience it in a purer sense). When I let the emotion become part of my identity, I almost always add guilt or pressure to the mix – pressure to be happy, guilt because I’m not recognizing my blessings, etc. But if I can achieve this distance, this ability to separate what I feel from who I am, then I’m able to let the emotion live its life without dragging me down with it, so to speak.

This technique has definitely helped with my night terrors. When I wake up, usually terrified because of something which has not happened, if I can find a way to put distance between myself and that terror, I can make it through. Sometimes it takes quite a while to do this…sometimes I can simply say, “There is fear in me,” and I’ll fall asleep while ‘investigating’ that fear. Other times, I might have to get up and pace or check on the kids before I can let the distance in.

What does the quotation make you think?
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