My wife just called me on the phone and asked me if I could pick her up in twenty five minutes. I said sure honey and we got off the phone with a pleasant I love you. Twenty five minutes, I thought to myself. What would I do to pass the time?
My wife works at a rather hip fine fine dine restaurant in downtown Oakland. I have been at home all this evening in a rather depressive state. My emotions have crossed the spectrum of fear and contentment and back and forth again over the course of the past few hours. At a certain point in the evening my anxiety grew so great that I found my body shaking and my mind racing. Over time I managed to calm myself by playing the guitar and reading some passages from Rilke’s The Book of Hours.
Maybe I should meditate more or try and cultivate qualities of emotional maturity. I read a passage in a book this evening that said that emotional intelligence means having self awareness, seeing the links between thoughts, feelings and reactions; knowing if thoughts or feelings are ruling a decision: seeing the consequences of alternative choices: and applying these insights to choice.
I have always found such discipline difficult. I have always tended to be someone who acts from impulse. Over the course of my life this has rewarded me with temporary feelings of exhilaration but these feelings have almost always passed away and mutated into feelings of guilt and shame.
My wife is determined to turn me into a positive thinker. I feel sick, I say to her and she replies- but what is good about your life? At times these attempts and passifying my negative thoughts are as confusing to me as mathematical equations. I do not know how to respond.
Stress is the body and mind’s response to any pressure that disrupts a persons normal balance. This is why I seem to be in a perpetual state of dis-stress. My normal state of balance is seldom in balance. The world outside my door has become a crazy place. The world inside my mind and body is even crazier. I can hear my wife asking but what is good about my life…and to this I reply that the twenty five minutes are up and I can now go pick her up!