Being Mindfully Aware
We all have pet peeves, those little annoyances that have a tendency to balloon into something ready to sail around the world. I know I harbor a few that, try as I might, cannot be suppressed without conscious awareness.
Awareness: that's one of my themes for 2015. Mindful awareness--taking my awareness to a deeper level, one where I connect consciously to what happens automatically from my unconscious.
Over time, I've developed the ability and practice of shrugging off most of those little annoyances that come into my awareness. Perhaps a little bit of a huff of black smoke appears, but this is harmless to others. Not so much for me.
When I walk with mindful awareness through experiences that annoy me, I notice how each triggers sludge development. This, in turn, invites the presence of shadows and dissonance. Without mindful awareness, by the time I'm aware of feeling disquiet, the source is long gone leaving me baffled by my situation.
The key to inner harmony, it seems, rests in determining what makes some incident annoying in the first place. Why is some action by some other person so bothersome to me? And if what bothers me in others is a mirror of self, what behavior of mine mimics what I'm seeing?
For example, one of my pet peeves rises when others leave cabinet doors or drawers open. Seems a low-effort task to close them after the item sought has been removed. Or is it?
It seems that way to me because I have lived well over fifty years with people who demanded adherence to certain conventions. I learned that the best way to maximize peace and minimize discomfort was to adhere to their perception of perfection.
By forcing my self into the expectations of others, I buried connections to what I always wanted for me: freedom to breathe.
When others do something that annoys me, what I feel is the whip others flung at me. It's a variant of PTSD, mild in this type of situation, but still a variant of PTSD. I'm reacting and not responding. I'm in automatic mode from an unconscious perspective shaped, colored and tainted by others.
When I take time to reflect on what annoys me, I remember that I also behave in ways that annoy others, no matter how much I try to conform to all those rules and restrictions others have demanded.
Then, by stepping back, pausing, considering, I can be realistic. Every individual comes to this day colored and shaped by a lifetime of experiences. They've developed habits and behaviors that suit them just fine. I can't make them change. I can voice my thoughts on what seems dangerous to me or unsanitary or annoying. We can work on solutions and compromises.
In the end, for some of these annoyances, my best path is gratitude for the life I have and, with open doors and drawers - just shut them. Then smile.