By Dr. Marta Adelsman
Sedona AZ (July 27, 2012) – My husband, Steve, and I were tired from a short night’s sleep and a long day’s travel from Chicago to Phoenix. We still faced the drive from Phoenix to Cottonwood, and I felt irritable as we cruised out of the city.
Evidently Steve felt tired, too. He responded to something I said in a way that sounded defensive to me (I wondered if I had sounded blaming in the remark I had just made to him). I felt irritable and defensive in return, and the irritation rose in me like stomach contents in a bad case of food poisoning. I wanted to vomit out some cutting remarks.
At this point, I noticed that I had a different reaction than I would have had a year or two ago. I recognized that the emotion I experienced in that moment was nothing more than just an emotion. It had no meaning, except whatever meaning the ego (the false self) wanted to attach to it.
I felt as if I viewed the emotion from a distance, and it looked like a string of algae floating in a huge ocean. As long as it appeared to be so small in the larger scheme, I decided to wait and not respond. I “watched” it as it floated past, and soon it disappeared. I had let it go, and with it I also let go of an escalating argument with Steve.
Our Being is like that big ocean – vast and expansive and unmovable by the waves of thought and emotion that scoot across its surface.
I’m a coach in communication. However, I’m also a coach in what some people call consciousness, which I define simply as awareness of that vast ocean that is our true Being. Healthy communication bases itself on a solid awareness of that consciousness. When two people share a conversation and each sees the other as that vastness, the pieces of algae (thought and emotion) don’t become tangled in unhelpful, petty, contracted, me-centered discourse.
You can learn to step back from that false self to observe how it lures you into drama and turmoil. From the position of the observer, you see that you have options. You could follow the ego’s path into inevitable upset. You could communicate your truth without the charge of opinion or emotion. Or you could let it go.
What you choose will determine how you experience your life and your relationships. After my experience in the conversation with Steve on the way home from Phoenix, I commit more than ever to abandon the need to suffer and to embrace the freedom that comes from knowing I am the ocean.
Dr. Marta’s Schedule for July:
- Awake and Aware Class: The Gender Difference
Saturday, July 14, 1-2:15pm, Jerona Java Cafe, Cottonwood
- Awake and Aware Class: The Four Agreements
Saturday, July 28, 1-2:15pm, Jerona Java Cafe, Cottonwood
- Chat ‘n’ Chew: Handling Emotional Downers
Tuesday, July 31, 2:45-4:00pm, Jerona Java Cafe, Cottonwood
Dr. Marta is available for individual and couples coaching. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-451-9482.