Sometimes it is the small things that remind me how difficult my life was.
The other morning my husband was getting ready for work and he thanked me for making his breakfast and lunch (I do this most days. I like to cook and I always bring my own lunch, so I make his too). He thanks me often. And it feels nice that he notices and acknowledges something I do for him. But on the days he doesn’t thank me I don’t feel unnoticed or resentful. I make his lunch because I want to. No string attached.
But…..it made me think back to when I was still drinking and very unhappy.
If he had thanked me for making his lunch then, I would probably have immediately felt attacked. Was this a backhanded criticism? Was he insinuating the other day I made lunch he didn’t appreciate it? Why couldn’t he see how much I do? I am so hard done by, under appreciated, invisible. Life is unfair. Spiral into anger, resentment and self pity. I must have been pretty hard to live with. And I really thought I had it together. Yikes.
Yes. It’s was that simple. A small comment could push me pretty far. Because I was already living in a place of fear of criticism, worry my true self, that I loathed and criticized was showing. All over an offhand remark.
It helps me to remember that. Because today I know my inner self was just crying for some love and self compassion. That I was never going to find peace from others applause or recognition. It all had to come from me. My motives need to be free from string.
In the Bhagavad Gita this is karma yoga. The willingness to take action without any expectation of the results. To labour and have someone else enjoy the fruits. To give without any thought of getting something in return.
This concept was completely foreign until I quit drinking and started looking for a different way to live with my life long anxiety. Yogic philosophy puts in word what I need. It helps me understand how to live gently.
I try hard to live is way. It’s not easy…and I slide back into approval seeking (or, more noticeably) criticism avoiding. But that’s why yoga is a lifelong practice. I’m sure I will have many opportunities to let go of attachment. And it’s worth it, because it is one way to reduce future suffering.
Stillness and peace.