When I Become Very Agitated By Kim Eng
Q: What do I do with the agitated state I experience?
KE: Agitation is interesting. Something is stirring up, wanting to be changed. And the mere asking of a question about it implies that there is some resistance to agitation, some form of non-acceptance. Somehow we’ve learned to not be okay with what arises within. However, life becomes much easier if we can learn to accept whatever arises, instead of denying or resisting it. It’s what’s in your field of consciousness. But it’s not who you are.
The tricky thing is, what we tend to do with agitation, is to identify with it. It’s not who we are, but we think it is and act as if it is. Now, of course, we know that is not who we are. We may even want to push it down, thinking “Oh my god, this is who I am. But, of course, we know deep down that we’re the infinite I, yet we trick ourselves into believing that something impermanent that arises is who we are, that it is an unchanging part of our identity.
My recommendation: Come into stillness and just allow this agitation (or whatever emotion that is arising). Allow it to be here and tell yourself, “Okay, it’s here. Yet I am the field, the space of consciousness” and actually feel it. It may even be signaling something, stirring something, perhaps stirring for a change.
Of course, what may happen, is the impulse to want to just vent it, for example, at the next person who comes along, because we don’t like this feeling inside. But if we can just say, “Okay, here it is. Wow. What does it feel like? What is it stirring? What is stirring inside me? Is there something that needs to be changed?” Or it just a question of accepting what is? And, without trying to think about the answer, just allow it to kind of percolate and allow it to arise. If it doesn’t arise in that moment, maybe it’ll arise tomorrow. What is of primary importance, is that you remain still, alert, present.
And in this stillness, there comes a kind of trust that the wisdom that you need, will come in its own time. This is the spiritual life—living in the unknown yet knowing deep down that whatever manifests, is impermanent, always changing, and is of secondary, or relative importance. But who you are deep down is primary. Nobody and nothing can agitate you unless you let it.
“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”
– Eckhart Tolle