This morning when I woke up, my head hurt and I immediately felt frustrated. Then I played for a while with my new iPhone 4s, downloaded Instagram, took some photos, recorded some video footage of my daughter, and felt really abundant and grateful for all this amazing technology. Then I accidentally clicked on the button that turns the camera lens toward me and felt horrified at the sight of myself in the morning (that took a while to wear off). Then I got dressed and really liked my outfit, so I felt kinda hot, which made me feel good. Then I dropped my daughter off at a party, and on my way home, for various reasons, I felt unbearably lonely. When I got home I checked my email and a specific message made me feel really excited and hopeful.
Every day, every hour, we go through so many emotions. One minute we feel we are the best thing since young coconut smoothies, and the next we are as reprehensible as stale kale. Sometimes, I am so sure I will heal. Other times, it feels hopeless. Our moods and our emotions are as capricious as the wind. It’s useful for us to remember this, because it reminds us not to get too attached to any one emotion.
The icky feelings will pass, and the good ones will too. And underneath all of our ego’s ever-changing emotional hullabaloo, there is something stable and unchangeable. When we quiet our ego, when we choose to stop listening to it, we become aware of a sense of peace. Instead of all that chatter about how awful our lives have been in the past, how imperfect they are now, and how fantastic they’ll be in the future if only, we become aware of our Source. We hear the voice of God, the Divine, the Universe, or whatever you like it call it, inside us.
This is why I meditate daily. Because if I don’t, I start to identify too much with all the hullabaloo, and I forget the quiet, steady, Joy underneath it. Meditation is a choice about which voice to listen to. It requires the awareness that we can choose and the discipline to sit down on our asses and do it.
Sometimes I choose suffering. I let my ego take me on all sorts of trips, filling me up with fear and telling me about all the ways that I will never be happy and healthy and achieve what I want in life. And then, I’ll have a moment of clarity where I’ll realize I’m tripping. I’ll remember that I do, in fact, have a choice. That’s when I sit down and meditate, and listen to the voice of God instead.
We always have a choice. And we choose in every moment. Which voice will you listen to?