When I can’t feel my own heart, say it’s the witching hour, I’ve already eaten, and I start to feel lonely, I might notice the thought, “I really want something to eat. And maybe a drink to go with that.” I struggle with this! I know that it’s coming from an inner wound, inner pain, that I’m not healing or not relating to, and it comes up as this acting out where I try to get what I need, but in that process, I tend to forget I’m part of things. I can’t see the bigger circle, the bigger space. I just relate to what I need, and it’s so innocent really. I want to say that again. We’re not slamming ourselves or others. It’s a nurturing view, it’s coming out of nurturing, love, being honest.
So here’s how I look at it. If our viewpoint shrinks, if our view is limited, more narrow, we have what I call a smaller menu. Behaviorally that becomes do you want to do the thing that you do at this time of day? You’re very limited. The smaller your heart and mind feels, the more narrow, the more immediate it is around just this little me and my needs, the menu gets very small and it’s claustrophobic. Then people start going “This sucks!” Then there is suffering and resentment. If you look out at others, “Well, look what they have!” It’s still about me. The gravity is just so small.
When we meditate we get to broaden our vision, and we’ll actually get to practice this together. As we broaden our view and include more, and feel more connected to nature, more a part of our environment, our options increase exponentially, meaning the choices we have. I have tremendous compassion for myself and each of us when we are in a claustrophobic state of mind. It is autonomic, and there are very limited and reflexive habitual things that are going to happen.
I don’t know where this comes from, I think it is somewhat influenced by Judeo-Christian culturalization. I think a lot of the theology there is that a human being, when they enact negative behavior, they are acting in an evil way. But my bone to pick with that is that when you’re under the sway of a very claustrophobic state of mind and your menu is so small, you are not in control, you’re not in charge.
I think that is very threatening, in a society that is so proud of its autonomy and individualism, to say “Actually, a lot of our behaviors are autonomic.” That is terrifying! People don’t want to hear that. From a moral and ethical point of view, it brings up a lot of problems and questions. Frankly, to me, it leads to a much more nurturing, less punitive, less predatory system of society, but that’s another story.
Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll talk about broadening our view, our options, our choices, meditation, and balancing our inner ecology.
This blog post is part of an ongoing series:
Ecology of the Heart Part 1
Ecology of the Heart Part 2
Ecology of the Heart Part 3
Ecology of the Heart Part 4
Ecology of the Heart Part 5
Ecology of the Heart Part 6
Ecology of the Heart Part 7
Ecology of the Heart Part 8
Ecology of the Heart Part 9
Ecology of the Heart Part 10
Ecology of the Heart Part 11
Ecology of the Heart Part 12