I spent the day feeling like I was in the middle of the constipated conflict that Congress is experiencing. There was a lot of anger in my day: people misunderstanding, misinterpreting and sticking very hard to their guns. It was an oppositional sort of a day.
At the end of the night when I could finally check in with the news and saw the photograph of Obama and the negotiating party leaders, I thought, "I relate."
I was an ass at times today. At other times I was misunderstood as an ass when at that moment I actually was not being one. I was just oozing anger and defiance even when it was not what I was thinking or feeling.
Many masters and teachers have told us for thousands of years, that the world's consciousness is merely a reflection of our own consciousness. If we want to change the world we have to "Be the change," as Gandhi most eloquently put it. I really got that lesson in the moment I saw the photograph.
The photo reminded me of the life that Harry Potter photographs have, where you can see a variety of emotions wash over a face over moments. There the group was, arms crossed, with faces that seemed to telegraph resolve, fear, vulnerability, rage and hopelessness all in one click.
The vulnerability struck me. Every time I was unfriendly or difficult today it was because I was feeling scared or sad. When I found out I hurt a friend's feelings when I felt nothing but love for her, I fell to a new low.
How could I have done that? It's all because I was not dealing with what was really going on underneath it all. If you don't deal with the fear and sadness, the anger becomes a control freak and forcefully takes over the reins. That, my friends, is just one of the consequences of a Heart Government Shutdown.
I had already meditated twice when I saw the photo. During my second session I had even had a good cry because one breakdown was about my dad, who passed away almost exactly four years ago. I had made myself get back to work too quickly. I needed to be far more gentle with myself after this cry. I had not had a good grieving cry in a while and I needed it. But, I shut the doors of the Heart Government. No entry here.
So, we're back at the negotiating table, my heart and I. The third meditation of the day, and a new understanding my own shutdown have given me some peace. Tomorrow, I'm going to try a little more tenderness. Hopefully the negotiators can do the same.