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08 January 2015

Making friends with the Boogie Monster

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by Olivia Percival

[groups_non_member group=”Registered”]For as long as I can remember I have always felt a sort of fear lurking in the background of my life; a Boogie Monster of sorts. At times he (or she) has been quiet, I even thought he may have disappeared at various points over the years. But then, seemingly unprompted, he would appear in my solar plexus; raging and unavoidable. I felt completely smothered in anxiety that I couldn’t face, and so certain of disastrous and dark outcomes in my life. (Which of course ultimately never came to pass.)

Each time it happened it was like having the whole rug pulled from under my feet. Full sabotage. Often nothing external had happened to trigger this dramatic undoing, only the machinations of an unruly mind.

Anyways, last week on Vipassana I finally had some revelations about my Boogie Monster:

 

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[/groups_non_member]
[groups_member group=”Registered”]For as long as I can remember I have always felt a sort of fear lurking in the background of my life; a Boogie Monster of sorts. At times he (or she) has been quiet, I even thought he may have disappeared at various points over the years. But then, seemingly unprompted, he would appear in my solar plexus; raging and unavoidable. I felt completely smothered in anxiety that I couldn’t face, and so certain of disastrous and dark outcomes in my life. (Which of course ultimately never came to pass.)

Each time it happened it was like having the whole rug pulled from under my feet. Full sabotage. Often nothing external had happened to trigger this dramatic undoing, only the machinations of an unruly mind.

Anyways, last week on Vipassana I finally had some revelations about my Boogie Monster:

1. The Boogie Monster gets bigger and louder the more I ignore him.

2. The Boogie Monster will only go away when I am able to be with him and accept him just as he is.
Initially I kept hearing the words from the teacher, ‘suffering is just not being able to be with what is’, but I just couldn’t do it, I couldn’t be with the intense anxiety, it felt unbelievably uncomfortable. Like when you put your feet on burning hot sand and you have to run as fast as you can because it’s too hot to land. I wanted out. Feelings of despair arose. (It sounds dramatic to be feeling despair when nothing has actually happened, but the Vipassana felt like a greenhouse where we set all the conditions for all the unwholesome parts of ourselves to emerge, so that in turn we could let them go.)
So I asked for help. And it came.
Burgs said:

‘Falling apart, if you can be with it fully, will be the seat of your harmonious mind.’

Well, that sounded excellent in comparison. So I decided to make a pact and meet the monster half way. I sat to meditate and instead of mentally running away from him in abhorrence, I sat with the feelings that had been so hard to be with. In a strange way it felt like I was sitting with a deep part of myself for the first time. By that I mean, myself without skirting around anything or avoiding any part of myself that didn’t feel tidy or good enough to show to anyone else. Just me; anxious, scared and by this point humbled.

I had the Black Eyed Peas song ‘ Meet me Halfway’ playing in my head for the latter part of the retreat. It was my battle song. I felt like; ‘ Ok then, do your best, hit me with it and I’ll see if I can not run away’.
Although in the end it wasn’t a battle, just the start of accepting and making friends with these feelings that make up my own Boogie Monster. I’ve no doubt there is a long way to go, but here’s hoping that I can continue to be with him until he’s well and truly gone.[/groups_member]

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