I started the day with feeling off balance – I had bad dreams, I slept poorly, and I was in a weird mood the night before. When this happens my usual solution is to meditate. I simply open my app called “Insight Timer”, peruse to find a guided meditation relevant to my current mental state, and listen attentively.
I’ve listened to many guided meditations in the past few years, and they’re all similar. You encounter mostly the same thing: focus on breath, acceptance of the current moment, observing thoughts from a distance, replacing self-judgement with curiosity, practicing kindness and gratitude. Today, I encountered a rather unusual mantra I hadn’t heard before, which stuck to me.
“Today, I choose to let go of my desire for security, affection and control, and accept the current moment as it is.”
SECURITY. AFFECTION. CONTROL.
These are probably my greatest desires as a human being, and, unchecked, my hunger for them have caused and can cause me severe, crippling anxiety. They are probably the root of all my anxieties, in some form.
When I heard them spoken in one sentence, no fluff, in such straightforward phrasing, I stopped. Could it be that if I recognize these three concepts as wants, not needs, that I need not lose my shit every time I’m denied of them? What’s the point of all that extra anguish?
That was my intention for the day – to mindfully accept whatever arose without leaning into my “need” for security, affection, or control. Obviously, I can’t completely write it off because there is a degree to which they’re necessary for a fulfilled life. I need to feel stable, loved, and empowered with my life choices to be happy. At the same time, I believe I mostly have enough, and I cause myself extra suffering when I get too greedy or deceive myself into thinking it is guaranteed from the people in my life.
I will never be an enlightened, walking buddha. I will always need some level of security, affection, and control. That is part of being human. The meditation is gives me a chance to step back and watch myself, to ask if the pursuit is helping or hurting me. And here’s the gift this particular meditation gave me, which helped me rebalance myself for a better day.