I was really struck yesterday by how incredibly protective I was (and realized am) with my meditation/mindfulness practice. I feel more than uncomfortable when someone is home…despite requesting to have time for myself/privacy, which is completely respected. At times I’m even uncomfortable when I’m doing a walking meditation and clearly I’m not alone outdoors. Except for the occasional cat, with all certainty, my partner would never interrupt or question what I’m doing. And yet, I’m uncomfortable, I can’t shake off the feeling that I’ll be interrupted – more importantly, that it will be taken away from me.
Yesterday I dug deep and recognized that this is an old fear, which used to be an old reality. Someone was always, and I mean always, invading my privacy, questioning what I was doing in a threatening way. It quickly got to the point where I would either never engage in something while they were within proximity, or never engage in the act at all: that being music, painting, reading, or even just sitting quiet. The violations perpetrated against me when I was younger are far and wide. And still today there are remnants of them, such as when I meditate.
There is no reason for me to feel unsafe, and yet I do. There is no reason for me to feel like someone is going to take this away from me, and yet I do. After my session was over, I was acutely aware of how stressful those thoughts of being interrupted are; of how painful that thought of something being taken away from me is – both physically and mentally. The lack of safety was palpable. All I could do was observe and be gentle, forgiving and not neglect myself. It saddens me, as I don’t want to feel this way, but the gift of awareness is not lost.
One of my favorites, Shakespeare said: Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting. ~Henry V