August 7–Return Again: Water Ceremony

A week or so ago, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror brushing my teeth, looking at myself.  I became suddenly aware of just how angry I was.  As usual, during my morning routine before work, I had tuned in National Public Radio, and viewed a couple of items in print news.  There was the latest report on the speech given by the President at the Boy Scouts of American Jamboree, and there was news of this new Immigration bill that would only allow highly skilled English speakers into the country.  I was angry.  In fact, I was furious.  The manipulation, the elitism, the racism . . .

And then it it occurred to me that I did not want to walk out the door into the rest of the day feeling angry like this.  So, as I rinsed off my toothbrush and rinsed off my teeth with clean water, I took a deep breath and let the anger pass.

That’s what water means to me, in many respects, especially flowing water, whether in a stream or out of the faucet over my toothbrush, or over my hands or body in the shower. Flowing water reminds me that my feelings are energies that flow through me. They are not me, and they are not who I am.  They can, however, if I choose, help me move in certain directions. If I hear or see someone being mistreated, I feel anger, too, and I can choose to let that anger move me towards some sort of help or intervention.  In that case, my feeling of anger that is moving through me becomes an e-motion–something that can help propel me into movement.

I honestly believe that all feelings are this way, but that I am not so skillful (yet) in making choices about how I will work with them.  I can choose to let any particular feeling flow through me and move on.  I can choose to let any particular feeling move me out into action of some sort.  And, if I do not tune into my feelings, if I make the mistake of thinking that any particular feeling IS who I am, it will eventually propel me into actions that I may regret.

Return again, to who we are, what we are, where we are, born and reborn again.

Bob Patrick

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