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Explorations and Reflections

on awakening the true self 

  • Writer's pictureMick Scott

Life Isn’t Exhausting. Fighting With It Is.

A client was sharing with me her frustration with a family member. This family member was not showing up the way my client thought he should be showing up.

Frustration. Anger. Disappointment. Anxiousness. Sadness.

There are factors outside us and factors inside us that can cause these emotions to arise. These factors cause the primary ripples in our experience. 

It’s like we’re sitting calmly on a placid lake and a big branch falls into the water from an overhanging tree. That branch causes ripples that shake our little boat.

The falling branch is "the facts" of our experience. The things people say and do. The weather. The latest news. Emotions that seemingly pop out of nowhere.

Like the fallen branch, these facts often cause ripples within us - the initial impact upon us of these facts. Perhaps a feeling of sadness, surprise, vulnerability, or fear. That fallen branch, it could be a problem for us.

We often don’t leave it at that, though, simply being with the primary ripples, the stuff of our experience. 

No, we try to stop those ripples! So we swat at them with an oar. Stop it, ripples!! I don’t like this movement!

And by swatting our oars around and moving around in our boat, we create new ripples, secondary ripples, and more bobbing and tilting.

What started out as something simply showing up in our experience has now become much more complex within us. Story and reaction and judgment and the history of old wounds generate a reactive heat of more emotion and more thinking.

We layer on top of our primary experience all sorts of secondary reactions. We get angry. We get frustrated. We feel ashamed. Then, we get caught up, turned around, and exhausted by our reactions.

Life isn’t exhausting. Reacting to life the way we do, however, is exhausting. 

For my client, her family member is the branch that fell into the lake of her awareness. The primary ripples were the result of her judgments of her family member, sourced in her own insecure thinking and feeling as a mom. The secondary ripples - her frustration and anger - she made instead of being with the facts and her insecure thinking.

We do NOT like feeling insecure and vulnerable, do we?

What better way to protect against our own vulnerabilities and insecurities than to get frustrated! This is how we add secondary ripples to complicate our experience - we end up grappling with frustration because we don't think we can handle insecurity and vulnerability.

Spiritual growth is both a science and an art. It’s a science because there are clear distinctions we can make between the primary ripples (the facts; what’s happened) and the secondary ripples (our reactions to the facts, usually based on stories and interpretations from a place of insecurity and vulnerability). It’s an art because it takes an internal dance as we learn to navigate those ripples.

The outcome of mastering this beautiful science/art?


Thanks so much for reading. ❤️

P.S. There are three ways you can support yourself by working with me: one-on-one coaching, the Mind Mastery Experience happening on April 7, and hiring me to work with your team, group, or organization. Contact me when you’re ready. 💌

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