Archives for posts with tag: discontent

It’s still odd getting used to working Sundays. I’ve got the car for this one, and that’s actually pretty nice. I slept badly; it takes time to get used to new work days or hours. I woke a couple times, and struggled with anxiety coming and going, of a fairly garden-variety “will I remember to go to work?” sort. I know that will pass.

I also woke feeling discontent, which may or may ¬†not have anything to do with the fact that it was acid reflux that woke me, about 15 minutes ahead of my alarm. Unpleasant. The result of my discontent, which was with me before I fully woke up, is a bit of snarling at myself in the background over tedious this and that, which could easily be handled with consideration and kindness. I figure I’ll get past it, once I’m awake, have had some coffee, some time to meditate, and time for the antacid I finally thought to take to have its effect. Rather than also snarl at myself over snarling at myself, I make a point of not taking my morning irritability at all personally; it’s very human.

My coffee is terrible this morning. Yes, I am drinking it anyway. lol As with life itself, sometimes I take a few swallows of a bitter brew before I realize I could choose differently. ūüėČ

The sky is gray as the dawn comes. The forecast says it will be a hot day. The breeze filling the apartment with the cooler morning air feels a bit muggy. Tomorrow the forecast is for hotter weather still, but the temperature appears to drop again, after that. I hear a rare rumbling of thunder in the distance. I try to get my head right for the work day. How does the weekend feel like it has been both so very long and also so very short? How am I so tired?

I think back over the weekend – it was much less productive than I meant it to be, one possible source of my irritability and discontent this morning. I fuss over the feelings for a moment, before realizing the likely shortcut to being over it is to go ahead and feel it, acknowledge the feelings, and make choices that result in a different experience. lol So practical.

I am definitely having my own experience. I would prefer it be a different one. My results vary, and I have so many choices… being human, it can be so hard to go ahead and choose… There are verbs involved. Looks like I need to begin again… ūüėČ

 

Yesterday was blazing hot (for where I live) and the heat of summer blasted the face of the streets and buildings with ferocious and unrelenting boldness. It got to a high of 97 degrees (F) or so.  I still did my midday walk, although I made doubly sure I was well hydrated. I still walked the pieces of my commute that required travel in the hotter part of the day. Why not? I used to live in Fresno. Yesterday it was something like 105 degrees (F) in Fresno. lol. I will happily take on the 97 versus the 105.

Hello, Sunshine!

Hello, Sunshine!

Perspective matters.

The evening felt very short. There wasn’t much shared time to connect over the day’s details. I started, but didn’t finish, a favorite movie; I had trouble being really engaged. I feel pre-occupied. I feel… discontent. It could be hormones. It could be the state of the world. There are a lot of details of life that can result in a feeling of discontent. ¬†It’s a very human experience.

As it turns out, I require very little to feel contented. A state of calm and contentment is¬†pretty natural for me, given a calm environment and pleasant circumstances. Life isn’t always so orderly. Desires and expectations can definitely undermine a feeling of contentment. ¬†Things simply ‘going wrong’. ¬†Frustration, although it is an emotion all its own, can sure share the stage with discontent, in my own experience; I rarely feel contented when I am also frustrated. ¬†Feeling unheard can result in a profound feeling of discontent. Actually… discontent seems a rather gentle warning siren in my emotional life that something is amiss. When I listen, and attend to the feelings, and take care of me it is sometimes a simple matter to get my experience back to some pleasantly contented state of being. ¬†Ignoring discontent is like a promise to seriously derail my emotional balance at some later time.

I am putting a lot of study and practice into being more emotionally intelligent. ¬†It matters, quite possible more so than intellect, education, or so many other cognitive characteristics. Our emotional intelligence is what we bring along for the fun when we interact with other people. ¬†For much of my adulthood I have been severely deficient in the area of emotional intelligence…and I learned late that a quick wit, a decent education, professional drive, competence…none of that means shit if I am¬†also callous, mean, terse, and insensitive; people will not want to connect with me, or be able to do so easily, and the experience of rejection is unpleasant, to say the least. ¬†I didn’t figure it all out at once – not sure I’ve ‘figured it out’ anyway. I didn’t approach the issue wanting to improve my emotional intelligence. When I headed down this path, I didn’t even know ’emotional intelligence’ is a thing. Still working on it, still studying, and still asking more questions than I am seeking out ‘answers’.

This morning I am making room for feelings of discontent. It’s a very personal experience, not directed outward; a conversation of sorts, with myself. ¬†When meditating on gratitude and loving kindness don’t ease a developing feeling of discontent, these days, I embrace the feeling as simply being part of my experience of the moment, make room in my heart to be compassionate toward myself… and start asking questions. I don’t set the bar high on answers. I have found answers are often not really necessary as much as awareness and tender acceptance of my needs and desires. I am learning to treat myself well, and truly honor my own experience. It’s pretty wow sometimes, particularly in moments of discontent.

I still feel discontented. It could be as simple as the house filling with disorderly looking stacks of boxes; a variety of household projects ongoing require rooms to be emptied, the contents boxed up for safety. ¬†A partner’s recent shipment of household items passed on from a deceased family member add to the clutter. My hiking gear, art supplies, books… I have too much stuff, or too little space. Discontent, for me, often feels like I’ve lost my sense of ‘sufficiency’ or order, on some point or another. ¬†I find myself wondering about the value of scaling down from a king size bed to a twin; panic sets in with a vicious attack by my brain – challenging the status quo with novel thinking, or challenging some point on which I have become complacent, can be really hard on me, but it’s also very good for me in terms of flexible thinking and being adaptable. I give myself a mental wink and a smile, “Look at you go, Brain! Very creative!” I manage not to become invested in the suspiciously convenient narrative offered.

Flowers; not just pretty, also a favorite metaphor for blossoming in our own time.

Flowers; not just pretty, also a favorite metaphor for blossoming in our own time.

More meditation. Yoga. Another espresso. A few minutes in the garden at dawn. Discontent can sneak attack with little provocation; I find it important to be wary, watchful, and compassionate with myself. It’s a very human thing to become caught up in emotions. Dealing with emotions is¬†not my area of greatest strength. I keep studying. Practicing meditation. Making more room to feel my feelings, accept my experience, and show myself some consideration. (The Big 5 again: Consideration)

I still feel discontented. At some point, I will accept some opportunity to make a change that may change my emotional experience for the better. Choices matter. Perspective, too, matters. Today is a therapy day. Maybe there is hidden wisdom to be revealed? Maybe not. Maybe just more practice, but it helps to talk through the challenges.

Blue skies on a summer day, even in the face of the emotion of the moment.

Blue skies on a summer day, even in the face of the emotion of the moment.

Today is a good day to practice. Today is a good day to show myself compassion. Today is a good day to acknowledge what works, what feels good, and what satisfies. Today is a good day to say ‘thank you’. Today is a good day to change the world.

I woke in pain after a restless night, and too little sleep; my arthritis feeling like someone carelessly shoved gravel between my vertebrae, the pain a column reaching into my head and manifesting as an horrific headache. I took my time waking up, feeling groggy and dissatisfied, armed with grim resolve not to allow the pain to ruin my moment, my day, or my experience of life. I feel discontent. I feel angry – with myself? With my pain? With the content of my dreams? I don’t know. Hurting ‘mindfully’ isn’t my favorite experience, frankly.¬† It hurts. lol.

“Where does discontent start? You are warm enough, but you shiver. You are fed, yet hunger gnaws you. You have been loved, but your yearning wanders in new fields. And to prod all these there’s time, the Bastard Time.”¬† John Steinbeck

I feel discontented. That feeling didn’t dissipate with my walk to work. I found myself distracted from the moment and wanting very much to suppress the feeling, wish it away, indulge in fantastical daydreams of ‘better things’ – anything at all to avoid acknowledging the feeling of being discontented.¬† My nerves feel raw, and I’m angry with myself for having this emotion, today.¬† Am I struggling with this because I am in pain? I have experiences that tell me the lack of sleep and the physical discomfort do have the potential to result in a general feeling of being discontented and disconnected from intimate relationships. Hormonal changes sometimes do it, too.¬† It is one of my least favorite experiences.¬† I’m also aware I am tired, and cross, and likely to be facing the world less rationally than would be ideal.

Learning to live more mindfully, and learning to ‘take care of me’ and treat myself well and with compassion seems to necessitate learning to express needs and boundaries explicitly…but learning to do those things at all isn’t quite the same as learning to do them well – I need more practice, frankly.¬† For now, I often find myself struggling with that – how do I express what feels to me like a profound and obvious sort of need to someone in a way that doesn’t result in an experience wherein they feel defensive, ‘blamed’, or simply don’t understand what I’m getting at? How do I put the focus on the need I am attempting to communicate, and succeed in simply communicating the need without demands, implied obligations, or creating conflict? How do I assert boundaries without hurting feelings? Always with the freakin’ questions, right? ūüôā¬† There’s another piece to learn, too, and it is more difficult – learning to being accepting when a clearly stated need may not be met (or even received well), or a boundary not being respected.¬† Getting the communication right matters.¬† The lessons never stop in this particular school; becoming a student of life and love has both benefits and burdens. lol.

There was a time in my life – most of it, actually – when I met nearly all my emotional needs through sexual contact. It’s only been the last couple years that I’ve really been developing a different understanding of my needs where things like intimacy are concerned (meaning intimacy as distinct and separate from sex).¬† I very much want to experience more touch in my every day existence…not sex (ok, more is nice, but it isn’t what I’m talking about, just now). ¬† I specifically mean ‘touch’: hugs, kisses, hand holding, flirty caresses, comforting embraces, sitting closely…every day contact. (I suspect almost everyone these days feels that way, with so much of our emotional connectivity being digital.)¬† Today is not the day to make decisions about personal challenges, clearly, I’m tired and I hurt way to much to rely on my decision-making where change is concerned. Still, I find myself wondering if putting sex on a back burner completely for a while would make it easier to figure out intimacy…I can’t help shaking my head and almost-laughing at the thought… me, considering putting sex aside for a while? Me?¬†Huh.¬† I’m not very skilled at intimacy; it requires a level of willingness to be vulnerable, emotionally fearless, and open to the unknown in a relationship that can be pretty intense. I’m only barely learning some basics there, so far.¬† I’d like to be better at it.¬† I’d like to be one of those people who easily connects with others, easily experiences compassion for themselves and other people, is kind, and experiences warmth and affection in their relationships as the largest part of their experience. I will keep studying, practicing, learning, and even maintaining a willingness to consider new approaches – I wonder where I will be in 5 years?

Well, I’ll say one thing for mindfulness…I’m not overwhelmed with angsty brooding, aggression, frustration, or a feeling of worthlessness.¬† I’d like ‘more/better’ out of myself, but I am learning every day, and making small improvements in my experience.¬† I am managing, at this point, to feel mostly pretty hopeful (in spite of the arthritis and the headache) and willing to keep learning, studying, practicing, living, and loving.¬† And, thanks, Dave.

It didn’t take long for my good mood to slip a few places.¬† Hormones? Brain injury? PTSD? Lack of sleep?

I am irritable, feeling ‘dismissed’, unimportant, misunderstood, and struggling to focus on tasks at hand… I’m tired, too, that can’t be helping.¬† My priorities are not shared by some of the people who matter to me, and some of my core needs are unmet, and have been for some time.¬† I struggle to even find sympathy; resolution is not on the map right now, as far as I can see.¬† Most attempts to discuss it result new opportunities to explore feeling unimportant.¬† It’s funny… in spite of lack of sleep, I was in a pretty awesome mood – and it lasted exactly as long as I felt substantially supported, heard, understood, relevant, and valued.¬† When I lost that feeling, I started feeling irritable, dismissed, invisible, and discontent. There’s something important to understand there – I hope I remember to take time to meditate on that when I’m not so tired.

What’s the solution? Do I learn to tell everyone else to ‘fuck off’ and figure out how to meet my own needs 100%? Is that possible? It seems mean…¬† Is it necessary to adhere to a strict Ringer-style quid pro quo ‘value for value’ level of reciprocity in relationships that currently feel lacking in balance?¬† If that’s the case, how do I address a clear lack of reciprocity on a given subject/need? When does it become a deal-breaker when needs are not met? How do I know whether I am ‘just’ tired and needy, or facing something more substantial?¬† And why doesn’t the internet answer the really important questions?

Maybe “this too shall pass“, given time… and perspective.