Irritation is a real thing. I have physiological responses to this element of existence, it’s common. It happens. How many times a day do each of us face irritation? What happens to you when you face irritation? Do you realize it right away or do you get knee deep in creating negative karma before you realize what you’re doing? Ah, it could be so helpful to catch it the moment it arises and not act on it but instead convert it into something better and more productive.
Open up spirituality on this discussion? Jesus didn’t really talk about it in the Bible. He never said, “Oh, I am so irritated, but I’m going to go sit in the house of the Lord and commune with God to discharge this crappy feeling I’m having.” In the old testament, people just stoned and killed each other over their own irritation and somehow that was okay. You know Cain and Abel? Irritation! Why? Haha, as I look it up for more precise reference, my computer moves like molasses and I find myself irritated. Cain killed Abel. He was really irritable about the fact that God wasn’t happy with his sacrifice. It was irritation in the form of jealousy. I think he might have been pretty pissed that his Daddy-o gave him more labor-intensive work to do in comparison to his brother and that somehow God favored the less difficult work of Abel to the harder labor of Cain. That’s evil. Did Cain later feel remorse? And did the remorse come because of his exile or because of his own loss? Who knows. What we do know is that we have lots of irritation today to deal with. We have people hanging on to their guns so they can kill other people should they become too irritated and start threatening. We all feel justified in killing to preserve our own lives as well as the lives of our loved ones. Jesus didn’t. But, Americans sure do. War. All caused by irritation.
Meanwhile, I’ve dealt with a lot of irritation at my day job. I deal with irritation, often, all day long. I get irritated. I practice yoga to release it. I practice breathing to release it. Sometimes, I practice nothing and I put out my shitty irritable energy to cause greater irritation all around me. Sometimes, I harm myself to get rid of the irritation by eating something unhealthy or saying something destructive.
Today’s irritation began last night when my roommate expressed his extreme irritation over his phone performance. He was just disgusted about it. His disgust is powerful stuff. It instantly impacts me. I offered him my old boost phone to help him out and he got angrier and left to go in search of help. He returned shortly and I asked if he’d gotten things all straightened out. He told me he didn’t want to talk. He was letting me know I needed to give him space to deal with his own negative energy. I locked myself in my room to steer completely clear of him. This morning, I woke at 4 to his alarm. I listened to him talk to his phone on the toilet. Then, I had to listen to him make all kinds of noises in the shower. Normally, I can sleep through it. Today, I got irritated. His shower lasted a whole 30-something minutes. In my head, I could see the splashy mess he makes in the bathroom. He gets the water all over the floor and makes it so steamy in there, it’s ruining the paint. He doesn’t clean the hair out of the net in the drain. He uses coconut oil scrub in there and it leaves a gross residue. My irritation makes all of this unacceptable and I find that I no longer want to share my space with him. Shit, I used to get so irritated when one of my roommates in Arizona used to take 20 minute showers. The water bill was all my responsibility then, and she definitely increased it with out any type of regard for the difficulties she imposed on me. My irritation made me pretty ill over time when it came to dealing with her. Yoga would release it, but not fully. It was a tremendous relief to me when that roommate moved out. She was loved by all the roommates, but I was critical and had trouble being genuinely sweet to her. Still, I would continue to make an effort to soften my heart and keep her in a place of friendship. I don’t want to do that with this current roommate. Fuck him and his shitty anger fits over the phone connection. It’s not my fucking fault T-Mobile sucks, asshole. You and your long girly hair can take a hike. I hope he meets a woman who is just right for him. One who can take his negative fits and turn them into passionate love with her sweetness. I’m not it. Please universe, move him on along and out and let me find a friend who can keep space with me with total reverence for the sanctuary of home. Home is the place where we find our peace, where we let go of all the world’s struggles instead of steeping ourselves in more struggle. At least, that’s what my ego wants. The survivor in me relishes peace and harmony in the home and feels as if survival isn’t possible when the home is at odds with itself.
I have a baby sister who thrives on conflict. I run from it. I hide from it. I do everything in my power to prevent it, resolve it, and lose it. Irritation comes when I can’t move away from it. For her, irritation comes when it moves away from her. She wants the battle and the victory. I’m like Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. I don’t want any conflict. I want people to live in harmony and love. I’d rather disappear than create conflict. Except this morning. I went out there to make coffee. I put my little pot on the stove, put my milk in the auto-frother, and sat outside my tiny kitchen so he could have it to himself. Somehow my trying to stay out of the way didn’t work so he takes his loaf of white bread, peanut butter, and jelly into the living room to prepare them on the coffee table. This irritates me as I see he’s laid out a bunch of paper towels to work his sandwich magic. I hurry and finish making coffee so he can be in there and tell him, “I’m done in the kitchen so you can have it to yourself and not get food all over the living room too” and then slam my bedroom door as hard as I can behind me. Gross. I am gross. I am acting like a little fool.
He does not react at all.
I see the mirror here. I act in the way that I most despise and judge others for. I behave like a reactionary, hot-tempered idiot.
So, I’m owning my shit. And even though I am a shit holder that is steeped in the foolishness of samsara and ego-related struggles to survive, I will look for the compassion for myself so that I can now extend it to others. Oh meditation cushion, help me out. This seeker knows the answers but can’t synchronize them into her own psyche to progress with awareness, loving-kindness, well-being and compassion. I’m like the energy mirror. You put out negative shit, I take it, roll it up in a ball, and blast it back to you in yet an uglier format. Not a change maker. That behavior just perpetuates the production of more shit. More pollution in the environment. I am just a baby in this lifetime. A tiny, silly, ignorant yet aware student who wants to grow and learn and move beyond her own limitations. Getting a new roommate won’t fix things. Only me learning to adapt in a healthy way will make things better, all around me.
The job I just quit? Yes, more of the same. I’m running from the static and chaos so I don’t have to deal with it anymore. I find it irritating. I hope that improvements are made due to my irritations – I hope they find a way to run that place so that people can be content.
The boyfriend I’m slowly re-connecting with? Our demise was my irritation levels. I blamed him, but it’s me not knowing how to properly stay in my own discomfort. Not finding the way to practice the teachings in a way that heals.
Me moving away from my family? Yes, more of the same. Escaping the discomfort I feel from being a bad daughter, sister, mother so that I can just enjoy being. Am I enjoying being?
Sigh. Some minutes, yes. Some minutes, it’s a struggle.
Tying the teachings in: the wheel of samsara and the three poisons
What’s my poison?
The three poisons (Sanskrit: triviṣa; Tibetan: dug gsum) or the three unwholesome roots (Sanskrit: akuśala-mūla; Pāli: akusala-mūla), in Buddhism, refer to the three root kleshas of Moha (delusion, confusion), Raga (greed, sensual attachment), and Dvesha (aversion, ill will). These three poisons are considered to be three afflictions or character flaws innate in a being, the root of Taṇhā (craving), and thus in part the cause of Dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness) and rebirths
Is it the cock? The cock represents a human’s greed – wanting things to be a certain way.
Is it the piggie? Piggie represents ignorance and delusion – you don’t allow yourself to see the truth because you’re in pursuit of your passion / greed and the blinders exist just so you can continue the hot pursuit.
Is it the snake? The snake according to the wiki paragraph above represents our aversion or ill will.
I’ll be reflecting on this all weekend as I make my way to obtain (greedily, ignorantly, and with aversion to every thing other than that training) greater ability to transmit the teachings in a way that will help myself and all of humanity. Still, swirling in samsaric nonsense. Still, certain that I’m privileged enough to have been meant for this training. It’s really quite laughable, isn’t it? The plight of humanity and all this undeniable irritation – every where!