“This is not who I am
I have become comfortably numb”
Do you ever look at your loved ones and wonder where your warm, loving feelings have gone?
Feel isolated from those once close to you, or suddenly become overwhelmed by a resurgence of the love you once felt for someone but which seemed to have faded recently?
“Love” as we usually define it, can be a fickle thing, bewildering us by its apparently random appearance and disappearance. It is often said that “Love makes the world go round”, and it is certainly the basis on which we build our families and close relationships, so how can it prove so fickle and elusive?
Is there anybody in there”?
Why do we sometimes look at our loved ones and feel (un) comfortably numb? We often appease ourselves with thoughts such as:
“this is just the way it is in ‘real’ life”,
“after all these years……”,
“could be worse..”,
“well after all we’ve been through” ,
“The way they’ve been behaving…. ”
This indicates we are becoming numb to our potential to feel warm and loving more (if not all ) of the time. “This is not who I am”, is the truth of the matter, we are capable of much more.
When we feel loving towards somebody we feel happy. Pure love is a very positive mind,and positive minds make us feel happy.
Unfortunately our happy minds are often destroyed by our negative minds (such as impatience, jealousy, greed, selfishness and anger) so our love can be overwhelmed like a rose being strangled by the weeds.
Negative minds appear uninvited and disturb our peace and happiness,we feel powerless against them because we don’t realise we have any choice.
One of the biggest ‘weeds’ we can have, which numbs our peaceful loving mind is anger. Anger is one of the most destructive negative minds (called delusions in Buddhism) we can suffer from, which can cause us to experience a wide range of feelings from minor irritation to full-blown anger or hatred.
Anger can be very sneaky and underhand, it can lie low as a chronic resentment which we are often unaware of. We may even think we have overcome our anger, or think we have ‘gotten over it’ following a difficult event, while it is quietly seething below the surface. We may be angry at a family member, especially a partner or an adult child, who may have made decisions we disagree with, or be engaging in destructive activities we are concerned about but powerless to stop. If this continues unchecked we find it hard to feel loving toward them. We begin to feel numb inside.
Anger benefits no-one, it is a very destructive mind which causes pain to both ourself and others. However the good news is that by understanding the problems it causes and learning how to train our mind to become we can eventually diminish and eradicate it. (See more in this article, or read more in this book)
Anger is our attempt to block out, push away or harm something or somebody causing us discomfort in our mind. It is a very painful mind, destroying our peace and happiness and often our relationships. When we have anger in our mind we cannot feel love.
We need to take some quiet time to reflect on our true inner feelings, come to terms with what is in our mind. Let go of our anger and learn how to avoid it in the future.(See more here)
This is not in any way related to being confrontational if we find any resentment within. Confrontation is an angry mind and anger breeds only more anger.We may find we need to make changes in our life or have discussions with loved ones but this may all be accomplished from a peaceful loving heart.
” Is there anybody out there”
Have we become so pre-occupied with ourselves, our wishes and wants that we have forgotten to consider others?
”You are the only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying”
Do we actually pay any attention to our loved ones or do we take them for granted like animate furniture in our life?
Has our love for others become so mixed with attachment and self concern that we are not interested in our loved ones unless they are behaving in the way we would like?
Attachment is another delusion, it often contaminates our pure love.
Pure love is a wish for others to be happy,whereas attachment is a mind that expects others to make us happy. Attachment is concerned with self rather than other; a selfish mind which puts our own wishes and needs as priority above everybody elses.
We all have the tendency to think we are the centre of our universe. The world (and the people in it) being perceived in relation to the value it holds for ourselves.
“Will this/he/she make me happy?” becomes our prime concern, as opposed to the thought “What can I do to make them happy?”
Pure love is an endless source of happiness, a deep infinite source within us all, regardless of our personal circumstances.
We can feel love for a family of 12, a pet budgie,or the tramp we pass begging in the station.We can wish the whole world happiness and it bounces back on us.
If we open our heart to others it magically becomes a happy heart, we can’t possibly feel lonely if we are considering the happiness of others instead of ourselves. Loneliness can only occur if we focus on ourself and personal desires, while conversely, many turn their life around working in soup kitchens and other voluntary organisations. It may take a little work but it is well worth the payout!
So if you are feeling lonely, isolated or numb, examine your mind, dig out those weeds and free your heart, so you can enjoy a happy loving life once more.