If you ask a thousand people what
is, you'll get more than a thousand answers. You'll notice there's lots
of overlap with their answers. The heart of
is the same for everyone, yet the specifics differ. Or (spoken with
the specifics are the same for everyone, but how each person
articulates their specifics plus the examples they use to
illustrate their specifics will bring forth more than a thousand
(it could be said) is the domain of ie a home for a
rich body of distinctions.
is not only the domain of ie a home for distinction itself
is, like the universe, an ever expanding domain. Once
distinction itself is brought forth like a tool, like an
implement of inquiry, ever newer and newer distinctions
are discovered, fleshed out and articulated which eventually join and
expand the lexicography of the rich body of
distinctions which is
When I look through this lexicography and pick just one
opening* made possible by this
rich body of distinctions as theone which
most pertinently gets to the heart of the power of
for me, the one I come up with is the one I call "owning the
It seems to me in our society (and by "our society" I'm referring to
all the people of
and inside of the norms within which we're raised and educated, not
much stock is vested in "owning the upset". We barely even have
the language to manage "owning the upset". The
default assumption about an upset is it comes from
outthere. "Someone (or something) did this to
me!". Naturally enough, this gives rise to the default strategy for
managing being upset, which is blame ("I'm upset
because so and so made me upset ...", "I'm
upset because of such and such ..."). Even if we don't
succumb to being done to (the strategy for managing being
upset is to not let it show, to suck it up - of which the
caricature is the stoic British stiff upper quivering lip),
ignoring an upset is the surefire way to keep it in
place (you may require a certain
way of looking at things to get that).
The first time I took on owning my own upset ("Say whut? I
own my own upset??? You're kidding me. Moi?
You just don't understand. Someone else did this to me
..."), it was a sheer leap of faith. Like something to try out. Like
trying something on.
By a process of elimination, I eventually took on owning my own upset
because nothing else worked. I tried managing being upset through
reason. I tried rationalizing being upset (as a way to get
out of being upset). I tried explaining being upset in
order to clearly see the cause of being upset. And behind
that was the assumption that if I could
explain being upset, I would understand
why I was upset, and understanding
why I was upset would make me no longer
upset! In retrospect, how embarrassingly naïve of me!
None of that works. I wish it did. Believe me: I've tried very hard to
make those approaches work. They don't. None of them.
To be sure, eventually any upset goes away if you do nothing at all
with it and simply wait it out long enough (we call this "staying in a
funk") in much the same way any given weather condition
will invariably change, given time. Yet clearly waiting out an upset ie
staying in a funk is neither a powerful nor a masterful
way to handle being upset.
are located (it's a given you can't locate anything which
is undistinguished). But once they're located (and they're
always there in any upset - sometimes obviously, sometimes
easily, and sometimes maddeningly
and difficult to isolate ... but nonetheless they're alwaysthere in any upset), by owning the upset I'm taking
a stand I'm the source of it - not the other guy. By
owning the upset I'm taking a stand I generated it (knowingly or
unknowingly) - not the other guy. I assumed (incorrectly, as it
turns out) I'd get something out of being upset. No big deal, really:
so this tunnel has no cheese down it -
I've noticed if I can get that, if I really get I created
the upset, if I take the stand that out of a certain set of
circumstances I made the upset up, literally I did it to
myself ... as illogical as that sounds, as
counter-intuitive as that sounds, if I'm willing to give
up logic and intuition and be unreasonable with myself,
is this: in the midst of the swelling clouds of being upset, drenched
by the driving rain of being upset, buffeted this way and
that way by the hurricane winds of being upset, I get back
to choice in the matter. And the choice in the matter, since
I'm the owner of the upset, is really very simple: I can stay
upset, or I can get off it.
"Chocolate, or vanilla? Choose!".
The interesting thing about choosing to stay upset or to get off it is
neither choice is a better choice than the other. If I choose to
stay upset, I now know I'm upset as a choice. Being
upset as a choice is worlds away from being upset as
blame. I can't take myself very seriously once I've gotten
I'm upset as a choice. Who can? And if I choose to get off it, that's
the proof right there I created the upset in the first
place (noticing that is quite beautiful and pertinent, by the way).
Furthermore, if I choose to get off it, I can then choose to invent a
new possibility for my life, given the new
space which abounds, quite literally teaming with new found
life, once I get off it.
I assert if you can disappear an upset by owning the upset, if you can
get you're the source of the upset (not the other guy), then you
can get you're the one who creates yourself upset. And if you can get
you're the one who creates yourself upset, not only can you choose to
get off it ("Abracadabra! Upset gone!"), but
you can also get you're who creates atwillany experience you have.
And that, as they say in the classics, is the topic for another
conversation on another occasion.