Last week was quite dramatic here in Topanga. We had an unexpected thunderstorm. Angus and I were out on one of our favorite hiking trails. The sky was an unusual blue silver and we could see the flashes of lightning lit up the sky in the distance. There was no rain, but the thunder kept getting louder and louder. Finally Angus said we need to go home. It was getting too close for his comfort. He had memories emerge of being in a metal boat on a lake in the middle of a lightning storm as a teen and didn’t want a replay. I usually like to push the envelope more, but it was getting late, and I was starting to feel hungry so I agreed without a fuss.
I’m glad we did because the storm approached quickly until the lightning bolt and the thunder crack were nearly in synchronicity. We were back home by this time and our whole house shook. It felt like an earthquake. The storm then moved past us gradually receding into the distance. We got a delicious downpour of rain that felt so welcome in this fire season. I am grateful for the moisture and it is beautiful to see the green sprouts will emerge and cactus flowers bloom in our normally yellow, orange, and brown landscape this time of year.
The thunderstorm reminded me of how emotions can roll through me and shake me to my core. And just like a thunderstorm they aren’t personal. The energy moves through me and moves on. I can see how when I take my emotional experience so personally it is more painful, and I can be quick to attach a story to the energy moving through me, often not even realizing the feelings are the impetus for the story.
Angus might be grumpy and I don’t notice my feelings. I just run with the fiction in my mind of what his behavior means. I weave the intricate tapestry of narrative about how his low mood is going to impact me and make my day difficult. I have thoughts like, “I don’t have the time for his histrionics. Why can’t we just get things done in an easy way?”
I paint a picture that matches my mood. The grey clouds in my mind aren’t seen by me. Instead, I see the grey clouds outside. They coalesce. My lightning is my judgment and my thunder is my complaints.
Innocently I create meaning as the storm of emotions moves through me.
What if I didn’t? What if one day I have no meaning to make? What if all of a sudden I don’t see the clouds outside of me but recognize they are my own clouds of thought obfuscating the sun of my being.
Wouldn’t that be a day? It may not happen in my lifetime. I’m certainly not going to hold my breath waiting for it. Maybe it will happen when hell freezes over.
But it is helpful to know the possibility exists. Magic does happen. Thought can drop away and leave me with the pure presence of now.
Not much more is needed than that. The possibility is hopeful. Even when I’m not able to be so clear, and still innocently create my tapestries of fiction, knowing it is possible to see clearly is enough. I know I weave less. I know I am present more. I know my heart is more open to myself and others.
Understanding that the meaning I make up creates my experience helps me to hold this precious human experience more lightly and take myself less seriously knowing the illusion of me and my stories can drop away in a blink of an eye. This is freeing and hopefully. Even if it never happens in a permanent way, I am good to go.
If you would like to listen to the Rewilding Love Podcast, it comes out in serial format. Start with Episode 1 for context. Click here to listen. And, if you would like to dive deeper into the understanding I share along with additional support please check out the Rewilding Community.
Rohini Ross is co-founder of “The Rewilders.” Listen to her podcast, with her partner Angus Ross, Rewilding Love. They believe too many good relationships fall apart because couples give up thinking their relationship problems can’t be solved. In this season of the Rewilding Love Podcast, Rohini and Angus help a couple on the brink of divorce due to conflict. Angus and Rohini also co-facilitate a private couples’ intensives retreat program that rewilds relationships back to their natural state of love. Rohini is also the author of the ebook Marriage, and she and Angus are co-founders of The 29-Day Rewilding Experience and The Rewilding Community. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To learn more about her work and subscribe to her blog visit: TheRewilders.org.
This post was originally published at therewilders.org.