Sleeping Dogs

Regrets chased me from sleep this morning.

I hate when that happens.

I work hard at staying in the Now, let the future take care of itself, let the past be, but an odd thing happens sometimes when I’m asleep.  Some switch flips, some cage door opens, and the devil dogs get loose.  Regret, one of bipolar’s demon companions, charges through the moors of my internal landscape and latches on with bitey teeth.  There’s no shaking the beast once its jaws are locked.  No amount of meditation or self-talk, no degree of thinking seems to pry it loose.  The only thing I’ve found to help is a hard slap across the face—metaphorically speaking.

This morning, the right cross came as an email from my dear friend, Lily.  It required me to pull focus and fire up a different part of my brain in order to ponder and respond to her deep, questing comments.  When I finished, I realized the horrible hounds had laid down, still alert, still ready to pounce if I looked at them too long, but quiet and separate from me.

Regret is a complete waste of time and energy, a lot of hand-wringing with no possible positive outcome.  We can’t unmake the choices, unsay the words, undo the deeds.  We can only mop up the mess as best we can, learn the lesson provided, and move on.  So, if I know this, why do the hounds still chase me?

Author and spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle says:

Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.

Why does the mind habitually deny or resist the Now? Because it cannot function and remain in control without time, which is past and future, so it perceives the timeless Now as threatening. Time and mind are in fact inseparable.

To the ego, the present moment hardly exists. Only past and future are considered important. This total reversal of the truth accounts for the fact that in the ego mode the mind is so dysfunctional. It is always concerned with keeping the past alive, because without it – who are you?

It boils down to being identified with my history, which is easy to fall back into when BP churns up the chemical stew and throws things like Hell Hounds at me when I’m sleeping.  Okay, I get that.  And I also get that it takes a shock to shift the energy.  Like in the old John Belushi movie, Continental Divide, when he tries to distract Blair Brown by exclaiming, “Look! A baby wolf!”  Ego likes to be in charge and likes to operate in a comfortable groove.  The shock knocks it off-balance so the awareness of Now can come back in.

What I’m left with is gratitude for the serendipity of Lily’s email.  And to the devil dogs waiting on the moor, I say, “Look, a baby wolf!”


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Richard Olson
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 01:46:24

    Sandy – We are fortunate that you have left the medicated world in which I still live. I am enjoying your blog very much and see my experiences also when you fill up the pages. Bless you for your efforts. If you want to verbally communicate, I operate on a deficit. I have differing free methods.
    Take care and be well!



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