When I lived in India, a teacher there once told me that I should cultivate a “long, enduring mind.” At first, I didn’t know what he was talking about. The statement seemed more like a paradoxical anecdote or riddle. My mind tended to jump from one idea to another quite rapidly, more like a hummingbird buzzing from flower to flower than an eagle perched quietly on top of a high treetop observing the landscape for hours. I wrote the words down in big capital letters and underlined the statement.
At the time I believed I had to change the way I thought or remove my thoughts altogether which seemed daunting or even impossible. And whenever I scolded myself for not having extended periods of silence between my train of thoughts, my skipping-all-over-the-place mind only got more restless. So, I gave up trying to coax my mind to behave and just accepted the fact that I’d probably always be a little skittish.
To this day, I still leap from one notion to the next with lightning-quick speed. It irritates, maybe even exasperates, my loved ones and close friends who sometimes have a hard time following what I’m saying because, by the time I’ve voiced an opinion about something, for example, my mind has already moved on to the next shiny object.
“What? I didn’t get that,” or “Are you talking about…” or “I’m having a hard time following you,” are common comments, which in turn frustrates me. Don’t they know I’ve moved on to something else?
I’m not quite sure what that teacher might have been trying to tell me those many years ago, but I’ve interpreted a long and enduring mind to mean a mind that is far-seeing, tolerant, stable, and able to withstand the tides of change with grace. Because of that, I’m discovering solace in simply taking one day at a time. To laugh more and above all, to not take my thoughts, or me, so seriously. As each day passes, I’m reminded that life is too short not to.
“Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive.” Bugs Bunny
How did you find solace today?
© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved