Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Thursday, May 5, 2022

patterns, patterns

If anger is coming up, you become aware of your anger.  If fear is coming up, you become aware of your fear.  You are always there for yourself.  “Good morning my little anger, I know you are there.  I will take good care of you.” “Good afternoon, my fear, you just manifested.  I know you are always there, you are my old friend, I will take time to care for you.”

                     Thich Nhat Hanh



Sometimes I am surprised by joy!

all of a sudden, without warning

my heart sings


it might be a glimpse of the mountain on a clear day

or the first crocus of spring

or a cat sleeping in the way that only cats can sleep


but there it is!



but I can be surprised by other things too

by insecurity





I don’t know why I am surprised

because the reality is

we are all creatures of habit


we have our patterns

mental and emotional


that stuff that comes up?!

it has been coming up our whole lives

and our responses?

those too!


we know where we want to go

we know who we want to be

we try

oh we try


but then suddenly

stuff comes up!


I’m not enough

I can’t do this!

I am going to be rejected

I am not valued

“They are going to control me”


Fear comes up

Anger too

Maybe even hate


and that stuff that comes up pushes us into patterned

responses that allow us to hide

to avoid

those things that make us uncomfortable


we might isolate

we might drink

we might carry a gun

we might shut down


but too often our attempts to avoid our pain

lead us only into more pain

as anger begets anger, and hate, hate

and violence, violence.


we have to welcome

(in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy we say “accept”)

the stuff that comes up


Thay has it right

“Welcome my dear little fear

Let me take care of you

Let’s talk, about where you come from,

Let me accept your presence,

Let me shape my response to you.


You get to come here for a moment and say hi,

But you don’t get to lounge on the couch

and you don’t get to redecorate my mind and soul.

Sorry!  It was a nice visit, but, goodbye”


When we greet those things within

when we address them, enter into them, accept them

we can calm them, transform them

let go of them


having greeted

we can also say goodbye


the fact is we are not trapped by our old patterns

we can see them, face them

address them

and then let them go


moving on to new patterns that allow us to do what we want to do

and be who we want to be


when we take the time to deal with all that is going on within

we do not have to invade a country,

storm on a stage and slap another,

abuse a spouse,

take that next drink,

or hide from life.


instead, we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds

and be surprised by joy



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