On Mindfulness

  • It happens that people get on my nerves. I can feel apprehensive, irritated and impatient with strangers as well as with the closest ones. And I will start looking for reasons and solutions to that irritation by correcting (in my imagination) the other person.

    If only she behaved differently; if only he was nicer, more understanding and more empathic…I can give them a good piece of advice on change and improvement, I want them to be different. Simultaneously I get bad conscious for getting irritated at all because I do not like myself when I feel these negative feelings. It has been made clear to me that anger and irritation are improper to a civilized person.

    Looking for an escape from irritation and that assumption of being bad I turn towards my mind for help and it, being the intelligent mind comes up with a story. The story goes from explanations, accusations, reproaches and self-reproaches to positive thinking and being grateful and back to reproaches again, and so on... Within half an hour I can be on the 3rd season of various dramatic developments of my private, internal “Game of Thrones” or some other fascinating series, all spinning around the irritating person and her improprieties forgetting that what it is really all about is my inner, personal feeling of discomfort in some way triggered by that person.

    So I have to leave the story and come back to that feeling of discomfort, I have to welcome it, become mindful of it and pay attention to sensations happening in my body just here and now. It can be the heart that beats faster; it can be the throat that suddenly gets dry or the neck that stiffens. It is enough if I recognize, accept and allow these sensations to be as they are. I do not need to mark them as: irritation. There is wisdom in my body and mindfulness is about learning to trust it and to allow for it. Turning towards it and listening may be all that is needed to resolve the discomfort, and irritation will disappear.

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