I took this photo yesterday morning whilst Ernie took me for my walk. I love the softness and silky-looking texture of the fungus and the drop in the foreground, just waiting to happen. It was a difficult and painful little walk because my back problem has resurfaced recently and I'm in quite a bit of pain.
Every step was deliberate and careful, not at all how I normally love to go charging up that lane with Ernie scampering along with me. As I inched along the road, my mind was chewing over some photographs that I'd seen on facebook, showing some friends enjoying time with someone I no longer consider a friend. All sorts of emotions and thoughts had arisen as a result of this picture, and a lot of what I was telling myself about it was not new stuff at all, but the usual diet of negative crap that I say to myself in my head, like a very old tape, recorded years ago and never updated.
Something about being in so much pain and being able to move only very slowly, gave me the space to think about how strong, and strange, were my reactions to this innocent photograph, and the work of Byron Katie popped into my mind, so I began with some enquiry. I challenged every thought I was having about this person; was it true? Could I really know that what I was telling myself was true? How was I reacting when I believed those thoughts? How did believing those thoughts make me feel? Who would I be without this feeling? Enquiry is so powerful, enabling me to suspend my beliefs for a moment and consider other beliefs for a change.
As easily as that drop fell from that blade of grass, making it spring back up from the tension, the burden of that sad sack of stale emotions and rotting old thoughts fell away from me, as I came to the realisation that it just isn't relevant to allow space for that voice in my head any more. It's like seeing that same scenario but from a different angle. I'm seeing it for what it really is, which is...none of my business! And those old tapes, recorded decades ago of voices long dead? It's time to replace them with something kinder, and true, and helpful to me.
What old tapes do you play that could do with replacing? What beliefs are fuelling your negative emotions? How would they stand up to a bit of enquiry? The time is now!