Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Amazing, what gets me frustrated.

The "I can't walk like I used to?" Nope.

The "I can't play the instruments I used to?" Nope. I'm probably still in denial on that one, but at least I'm not frustrated.

The "[insert body part here] isn't doing what I wish it would?" Again, probably still in denial, but no frustration.

Students who just don't get it because they don't do the work? Actually, that's not frustrating. Perennial, yes; pandemic, yes; funny, in a very dark way, yes; something we deal with every day, yes. But somehow, the emotion I get from it isn't "frustration."

I'm beginning to realize that my "thing," no matter what means I use to achieve it, is catalyzing transformation through the opening, and the unification, of the mind and the heart. I try to write music that does that. I try to help my students do that, no matter what I'm teaching them. I've definitely noticed that I've been on a "self-empowerment" kick all year, showing students how when they do X and Y in such-and-such a way, they have the power. Especially in computer class--yeah, you can let your computer do a, b, c in the way it wants to, and get a sort-of OK result... or you can do it this way, have total control, and get exactly what you want. And it's amazing what wonders come from giving people the power to transform themselves and their world.

Children don't frustrate me. Adults frustrate me. As one of my colleagues said earlier this week, "I love helping children become good adults. I hate having to help adults become good adults."

At work this week, I've been going through what the Science of Mind church would call a "growth crisis." Things are changing (details aren't really important), I'm not dealing at all well with the changes, and I've been nattering to myself for several days about this, trying to get to the root of "What is really pissing you off about this?" And for the amount of fighting I've been doing with myself, I'm thinking it must be something pretty deep; something that I really need to process and release.

Funny... time after time, the MS experience brings me face to face with "I need to let this go." The Buddha preached about attachment causing suffering... and honestly, I'd have to say that right now, I'm suffering more from attachment than I am from MS. One of the first things I learned from the MS Road is that it very quickly teaches you what are real priorities; and clearly, clutching comfortable delusions--not just being attached to these delusions, fighting to stay attached to things that aren't good for you, is not a priority. Discarding those delusions, and facing those attachments, taking responsibility for them and choosing to maintain them (and suffer) or let them go--those are the "real" priorities. Aren't those also the "real" priorities of the human experience? The MS experience is, after all, nothing more or less than the human experience, simply writ so large that we can no longer pretend that it doesn't effect us.

I'm thinking... the Buddha would probably agree.

1 comment:

Carolyn Cordon said...

Having MS and confronting the life it gives you can be terrible or fantastic. MS has given me a lived experience of the kindness of strangers. MS has given me a greater understanding of how a body works - all the parts are connected together, if one bit goes wrong, it can all fall down in a heap.
Having MS helps you to concentrate on what actually does matter in life.