The Invitation of Irritation

grind stoneWhen we feel irritated by something or someone we often wish that it or they would change, thinking that as a result, the irritation would go away. But what if that very thing was an invitation for us to see something differently or an opportunity to let go of something in ourselves? Not from a place of needing to improve ourselves or our lives but from a place of curiosity and a deepening of our experience.

This came to me in a lightbulb sort of moment this afternoon.

I was on facebook, perusing my home feed when I started paying attention to the judgements running through my head such as “what a load of shit”, “haven’t these people got anything better to do”,” actually, no I don’t give a F*** about people posting about their babies being weaned onto a Paleo diet”, “no I don’t want to be Smart like ANYONE and on and on!!!!!”

Then there came a point when the grumpiness had escalated into my asking myself whether it’s maybe time to ditch Facebook once and for all. But that would mean I’d also lose all the good stuff, the new people I connect with, the resources I wouldn’t otherwise have seen, the celebrations I do want to be a part of, the support I can give.

So next I started plotting ways of seeing only the good stuff, which isn’t possible of course.

Suddenly, I saw it differently.

It popped into my head that this is just another learning environment. It’s no different from my struggle with big groups or little groups or family conversations when I don’t know how to handle how differently I see things. I don’t need to slip into judgement and I don’t need to judge myself when I do.

I can see Facebook as another opportunity to practice staying in the conversation even though I frequently feel like I’m speaking a different language.

I want that. I really, really do. I want to take my peace with me no matter how far outside the status quo I feel and, I want to learn to be that space of peace even when there is irritation present.

So . . . let Facebook be my grist for the mill. Bring it on!

8 of 366 book bits

(If you’re wondering what happened to Number 7 of 366 book bits, I didn’t feel it was long enough to warrant a whole blog post so I made it a comment on FB. You can read it here:

4 comments to “The Invitation of Irritation”

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  1. Andrea - 29 Jan, 2016 Reply

    I often have a very similar conversation with myself when I’m on Facebook. This is definitely a more interesting and helpful way to think about it.

    • Gillian - 29 Jan, 2016 Reply

      The other interesting thing I’ve noticed is that the state of mind I bring to FB affects what happens when I’m there. If I go because I can’t think of anything better to do I’m likely to have more judgements and stay on longer getting deeper and deeper into the mire.

      If I go because I have something to do there I tend to get it don’t take a quick look around and leave, without a load of judgement of other posts.

      So, maybe I’ll try staying off FB unless I have something specific to do there! 🙂

  2. Roland Leveque - 08 Feb, 2016 Reply

    Gillian is one of my dearest friends from a distance past that continues to be a teacher ( sometimes Professor ) for me. I appreciate being able to be connected on some level through FB. I have found that FB has been a great teacher for me to look at myself and my judgments of my friends (even my friend “friends”) , and realizing of course that what I see and what I am looking for is my reflection.
    For me the point of this process is varied and unless I take a moment of introspection, mindfulness it becomes a superficial process which has a very low learning curve. Although Gillian and I did not choose to follow the same path together or even the same path, we both are on a path of personal discovery. A discovery that will lead us to the same goal,knowing that who we are is a reflection of everything we see and the joy of finding that “it is all perfect just the way it is “

    • Gillian - 08 Feb, 2016 Reply

      Thanks for your comments Roland. I appreciate your thoughtful contributions. Sending you lots of love. xx

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