Monday, May 13, 2013
The Beauty of Irritability
Irritability is a different sort of energy than the burning singe of anger or the shining light of joy. Irritability has a way of seeping into every part of our day. It can certainly spark an angry outburst. It also can act to eclipse joy. Irritability is often an expression of our sub-conscience, that, when ignored, can become a behemoth. There is a beauty within the energy of irritability. It is an opportunity to listen to ourselves, to explore the language of the sub-conscience, to focus this energy productively.
The mind isn’t something we can just point to and know what we’re looking at. We experience life through the entire set of lens’ that compose the mind. There are elements of mind that make up conscious thought as well as large elements that remain mostly obscured, sub-conscious thought. Irritability begins in sub-conscious thought. Slowly, it seeps into our conscious waking states, coloring our perspective and shading our awareness until it breaks through into destructive states of mind.
There is a beauty within irritability. It’s the subtle language of our sub-conscience. If we pay attention to it, we can take care of it. If we ignore it, beauty becomes the beast of anger, resentment and aversion. If we work with our irritability instead of simply ignoring it, we really begin to listen to what our sub-conscience is trying to tell us. If we do ignore it, usually the volume of irritability increases, infecting more of our waking mental states.
There are so many pitfalls and whirlpools in the lands and waters of irritability. When we begin to pay attention to our irritability, our attention can act as fuel. This happens when our attention doesn’t explore below the surface of irritability to find its source. Instead of ventilating the irritability, it feeds it. Our attention must not simply be to focus on it; it must have the intention to alleviate the underlying condition. Our attention must be filled with compassion and understanding.
During a busy day, it can be difficult to find some space to take care of our irritability. Physical exercise can be a highly useful tool. This could be just walking around the office, the neighborhood or the house. Or, it could be a trip to the gym or the park, anything where our mind focuses on our well-being.
We could also read. This helps focus the mind externally, but through use of our internal world of imagination and exploration. The little books that fit in your pocket can be perfect in these moments, no matter where we are. Writing can also be a focusing tool.
And, as always, we can simply focus on our breathing. Our body is constantly breathing, and it doesn’t require us to go anywhere or do anything. Breathing is such a powerful vessel for transformation. We just do anything that helps to focus the mind first, and then focus the mind internally; this is the objective. We must completely embrace the irritability, not try to control it, but understand it instead. There’s so much that we’ve ignored, and it wants to be heard; it deserves to be heard.
There are days where we need to take care of our irritability from the moment we wake until the moment we go to sleep. These are blessed days, very workable. The beauty of irritability is the opportunity to focus on us, to take care of ourselves. Something within our sub-conscience is trying to express itself. It’s saying “look at me, I’m here and I’m suffering.” We can look at it, we can embrace it and we can do something about it. Our irritability can wake us up, not wake up the beasts of anger, resentment and aversion. We can do this, right here and right now.
When we’re irritable, it can be so easy to see the external world as the source. Our irritation simply makes our senses prickly, more sensitive. There are countless opportunities every day to lose it, but when we feel listened to, appreciated and embraced we’re less likely to. This is what we must begin to do for ourselves. We deserve it, and so does our irritability.
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