You go along, thinking hey, look at me, I got that whole depression thing kicked and figuring things would have to be bad indeed to slide back into those old patterns, eh?
Not necessarily so.
Sometimes it’s the gong of the meditation bell that wakes you up, and sometimes it’s the smack of running headlong into yourself. Backsliding can be a way of maintaining your compassion for others, and for learning once again to be kind to yourself. I have better tools for dealing with the thoughts that seized me this morning at 3am, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t affect me. Each of the stories they told hit me in different ways, but they all boiled down to a grasping for control, and a fear of being found wanting. There are still ugly things I’m hiding from myself, and therefore have the power to frighten me.
Like, why was I embarrassed to be interested in reading this? Online I trumpet my devotion to Harriet J. at Fugitivus every chance I can get, but in a comic book store I suddenly feel vulnerable for looking at a work with a similar theme?
And why is it that, after years of independence, abandonment anxiety is still *right there* waiting in the wings?
This made a difference for me today (link to mp3 of a talk by Tara Brach).