Sanjeevani Chandak

knock, knock!

A few nights ago, inspired by a book I’m currently reading, I wrote down an analogy. It was 2 am and I could barely keep my eyes open, but I kept typing whatever came to my head. Read it back after a few days and was pleasantly surprised because ummm… it made sense?! Fell asleep while writing the last one but I like it unfinished. Anyway, just wanna leave the unedited version of that note here:

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Thoughts
26/3/22

Bad emotions. Sadness, anxiety, anger, fear, guilt. 
It is not my permanent state of existence. It is not who I am. Its an emotion which will leave through the same door it came in from. 

Something happened. It was either your thoughts, memories, a situation, a person – their words actions etc – that made a phone call to this bad emotion and now its at your doorstep ringing the bell. 

You have 3 options 

I

https://imgur.com/gallery/cGuk9/comment/245713435

You open the door and tell it ‘I don’t have time for this. I don’t have time for you’ (lol) and then shut the door. You’re thinking ‘Phew! Crisis averted.’ But that emotion’s only job was to arrive at your house. It has nowhere else to be. So it decides to hang around just outside.

Overtime many of its cousins arrive – different combinations of different emotions: all of whom are shunned by you. So they wait around. They have nothing else to do. Depending upon how big the area in front of your house is (which means your capacity), it gets crowded sooner or later. More and more emotions are getting added. Less and less space there is.

Until, one fine day a new one shows up. It may be a very small one too. Doesn’t even matter. (like this one time, a few years ago, my laptop’s charger suddenly stopped working when maybe frustration came knocking. Its not a big one though. Surely its manageable, right?) But now there’s absolutely no space. It doesn’t even have the space to move or ring your doorbell. The pressure starts forming outside the door – fully packed by all these guests that were waiting outside for so long. It starts putting pressure on your front door which eventually breaks and ALL of these unwanted guests are hurled inside your house creating absolute havoc.

 You don’t have the resources or the capacity to handle so many of them at once. You have no idea why any of them had come up to your doorstep because by then its distant memory. So now you’re feeling all of them all at once, not knowing why, not knowing how to handle even one of them, let alone so many.

So what happens now? A breakdown. And you’re thinking ‘why am I feeling this? What is even happening? This is overwhelming. There’s so much pressure. I’m feeling so suffocated.’ That’s because the house is full. That’s because you didn’t let them in when they asked to be let in. (In my example I started crying so hard bc of the charger thing. Not knowing why I was being so hysterical. Not being about to understand why I was so overwhelmed by such a small thing. Just bawling my eyes out. Over an easily replaceable laptop charger.)

II

Second way is to let it come in. It immediately gets to work (its efficient). Throwing your things here and there, creating a mess and wreaking havoc. And you’re starting to get worked up. And that’s when you start engaging with it (“How dare you come into my house and do this!”) and the more you engage or react, the longer it stays and creates even more of a mess.

You’re not letting it leave. If you try to fight it, it takes longer to depart. You’re keeping it there, trying to argue with it, trying to make it make sense to you, trying to reason with it, letting it take complete control over you. So it stays. Because you’re clinging to its leg like a kid clings to an adult – not ready to let go for whatever reason there is.

And over time, you start feeling that it’s a member of the house. That without it your house feels empty. So you let it stay with you. You keep feeling miserable in its company yet you’ve believed it’s a part of you now, and you don’t know what your house (and maybe you) would be like without it. Classic dislike-you-but-can’t-imagine-life-without-you situation. We all know how that turns out.

III

Third way is to let it come in. Its starting its process, but you go sit in your chair in the corner & watch it do its work. Observing it. Accepting it. Being aware of how its making you feel emotionally and physically, without letting it consume you totally.

You’re keeping a distance. You know that that emotion is a guest. You know its departure is imminent. You’re simply waiting for it to be done. You’re not attaching or clinging to it. You’re an observer. Think about why it came & why it has so much power over you to make you react. 

You’re trying to figure out its patterns while taking help of your friend Breath. Breath always tries to help. Breath tells your mind its okay to calm tf down.