Saturday, October 22, 2011
Contemplating Our Frustration
When we see something we don't like, or that is offensive to us, like the spider I just noted near my desk as I was sitting there reading through emails and holding my four month old; or experience something unpleasant and frustrating...like moving and knocking over something onto the floor just to have to stop what we're rushing to do to fix it our natural inclination is to become irritated or annoyed. While this may be an "insta-reaction" it's not often helpful and can put a sour note into an otherwise harmonious day.
What I have found helpful in this is stopping to take the event for what it is. A small, seemingly innocuous sign meant to re-direct one's attention to something other than what it is on. A reminder of some undone task we may have been avoiding. Sure, in words that are attributed to Sigmund Freud, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar". Sometimes a spider in the house because it's Winter is merely that...a member of the arachnid family entering a seemingly warm and safe refuge from the exposure of the outside. And with my thoughts I do not discount this reality. However I do add that when one notices something, there is generally special import. In this case Spider reminds me of many things: 1) putting off de-cluttering around the desk just issues Spider, and various insects, an invitation, 2) be more mindful, as it was purely chance that caused me to notice the decently large (by my standards) Wolf Spider, of how close my bare feet may be to something less than savory; and of course 3) that it is time to consider the meaning of such a totem coming to my attention.
With my artistic side coming out I find that clutter seems to gravitate towards me. With this also comes the piling of things merely to clear them from my way, rather than putting them away. After awhile however such precarious stacking leads to the inevitability that they will fall. When this happens I often instantaneously find myself annoyed, but as of late I have taken note to realize that had said pile not been stack in such a manner - or at all - it would not have fallen. Therefore, it's a signal that I have too many things around where I am working and should rectify this.
So next time you see something as inconvenient, annoying, etc take a moment to step back and consider what other meaning you may draw from it - you may be surprised.