I remember the first day of Iraq as happy and safe. Surrounded by concrete and armed sentries, I felt secure.
Only I wasn't. Every day we'd hear the mortars fall. Sometimes they hit open space, sometimes they opened bodies. My safety was an illusion. I was hopped up on excitement and bullets. Nothing could phase me.
Man, I was such a rookie.
The reality outside the wire was vastly different than the one I created in my head.
Now, if I tout myself as a wise, evolved individual; I beg your forgiveness. Why? Just yesterday I found myself creating the same bullshit illusions in my head during a morning meditation.
The day before was a good day. Things went my way. I allowed myself to focus in on those things which allowed my mind to fantasize about how great things were going to be.
So instead of calming my mind and focusing on my breath in order to create space in my head, I revved up my mind with happy crap.
I've realized that happy crap is just as dangerous and addictive as the negative stuff.
There was a swimming pool on FOB loyalty. Out of place I know, but there it was all the same. One of the Smokes from the batteries was taking a swim one afternoon when the mortars started to fall. The mortars hadn't hit the pool area in years. That day it did.
I don't meditate because I think I'm cool. I meditate because I get lost. Sometimes in doubt worry and fear, other times in happy illusions.
This post was guided by the 49th stanza of the Art of Peace, a book written by Morihei Ueshiba
Armor Down has a website. Check it out.
If you like the AD Facebook page and I'll email you the PDF of a book called "Mindfulness in Practical English".
Lisa Wimberger's meditations:
Grounding Your Armor
Riding the Sun
Thrive as a civilian.