Yesterday I lost my temper at work. You might think that I wouldn’t lose my temper because I’m a yogi, but as I’ve pointed out on many occasions on this blog, I’m a work in progress just like every other human being on this planet. This is one of the kleshas that I need extra work on in this life. And there seem to be no limit to the opportunities to work on it.
I’ve gotten much better over the years and I have quitting drinking and taking up yoga and meditation to thank for that. But still it creeps in at times, like a shadow taking hold of me. And in an instant I lose my temper. What that means in my case is I yell and storm out of wherever I happen to be, in this case work. Not good for my career path probably, but it’s happened now so now I deal with it. I get passionate about my work in a legal aid clinic. It’s important work and brings social justice to so many people that can’t speak for themselves. But sometimes I can’t accept what appears to be apathy in some of my co-workers. Is it apathy? Truly I don’t know – I can only imagine what’s in their minds. It just feels like apathy to me. There isn’t a thing I can do about it. So why fight it? Why not just continue to bring passion and enthusiasm to my job. Just accept what I cannot change. Most days I do. And then the shadow bites me!
I drew runes about this situation. And the results were interesting. (For those who are familiar with runes – I did a situation, action, new situation spread and the runes I drew were Thurisaz reversed, Fehu reversed and Nauthiz reversed – I’d welcome your thoughts on this!) The highlights for me were that the quality of your passage depends upon your attitude and that hasty decisions (like quitting my job maybe?) would cause regrets. Also, the situation rune talked about tempering impulses. Fehu asks us to look at what the lesson is in the situation. It reminds us of the shadow side of possessions and that doubtful situations come up all the time and we are always asked to look to where our true nourishment lies. Thurisaz reminds us that suffering is simply undergoing and reminds us not to suffer over our suffering. It also asks that we control our anger, restrain impulses and keep faith firm.
I was having a conversation with my mother the other day about feeling a little loss in faith. It’s hard for me to admit that because for a long time it felt unshakeable. I believed strongly in spirit and in the power of spirit to heal. I believed in the power of intention, the power of meditation as a tool for calming the mind, calming the soul, bringing peace into the world. I believed that if we brought more love into the world we could rise above anything. I believed we were making strides in bringing peace, love, compassion into the world. But a couple of things have me shaken. One is my own health. I’ve been doing healing meditations for many many years but still it looks like I’ll need a kidney transplant. Still I have arthritis after taking care to exercise and to eat right. Still I suffer from depression. The other thing that has me shaken is Trump supporters. I thought we were beyond such hate, but it turns out it was simply hidden. I realize when I’m in a good place that shining a light on the racism, misogyny, and fear is a good thing in the long run. But at what cost? I feel a little defeated by it. At this time when we need more love than ever, I feel like curling in a ball and crying sometimes – and I’m not even American!
So the runes telling me first and foremost to curb the impulse of anger is the obvious answer. But keep your faith firm is probably more important. What nourishes me? Not really my work in the legal aid clinic. My work in yoga nourishes me. But more than that my faith nourishes me. And I’ve turned away from it. So now I need to bring myself back to it and try once again to trust that spirit, the universe, god – whatever you like to call it – has a plan. And that the plan will result in something better than before. that as a world we are growing. That whatever happens in my own health will be okay.
I need to regain my faith.