I'm enjoying myself at the Drop Zone with my friends, and we're getting ready to plan our next jump. I smooth my jeans, and suddenly I notice that my wallet is not in my back pocket where it usually is. What happened to it, I think. I reach back there again as if I had just missed it, but it's still not there. I feel a familiar sensation: a tightening around my heart, a squeeze, and all my attention is now focused not on the jump I am getting ready to make with my friends, but the lost wallet.
First I go through all my things: my purse, the car, every place I can think of where it might be. My hand continues to go to the spot where I expect it to be, hoping that I had put it somewhere else by mistake. After awhile I realize that it might be at home, as I was unsure about which pants I would wear, and I tentatively let it go and begin to concentrate on other things. But in the back of my mind, the nagging worry about where it might be continues to bother me.
Does this sound familiar? Isn't it interesting that I can be living my life, enjoying myself, and suddenly something like this happens and all my energy is focused elsewhere?
I am reading an interesting book right now: The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, which discusses the state of serenity and the lack of it. What is happening to cause this? Do I identify myself with the missing wallet? Fortunately, this wallet is not where I keep my credit cards and crucial identification, but some cash, bus pass, business cards, and various replaceable punch cards. In order to regain my serenity, I consciously let everything in that wallet go, and I immediately felt better. The tightness around my heart lessened, and I went on with my day.
In my purse I carry a larger wallet, with checks, credit cards, driver's license, the whole enchilada. Sometimes when I am getting ready to pay for something I'll reach inside my purse and root around for it. Not finding it right away, thinking to myself that maybe it's gone, I left it somewhere, oh no! and then I find it. I've been known to take it out and kiss it fervently in thanks for it being there.
What I am learning in reading this book is that I am at the mercy of these storms of emotion, and I'd like to find some serenity, some real serenity, in these cases. The reason is obvious: life is filled with these events, and I want to learn how to deal with them in ways that are healing and not gripped with paralysis. What will I do when the day comes when I have to deal with something much more life changing than losing a wallet?
Now I've been through a bit of this already. For those who don't know about the loss of my two children, read this. Or the terrible accident I experienced in 2000. But! I am on a journey of exploration, how to find my way to serenity within this life of constant change. At the age of 66, although right now I'm able to jump, hike, play, work out and blog, something could happen tomorrow to change all that.
I want to find the way to serenity. Any ideas?