I have been pondering this post for a few days now, but it was reading this meditation on Mary that tied a few things together.
In my life I have gotten to know quite a bit about those who suffer with OCD. The rituals that get our attention are ways to cope with fears that the person cannot release from their brain (and heart and soul). I am contaminated... I must wash my hands again. I ran over someone... I must circle the block 5 times. I must make the right decision... I will ponder and research it endlessly. I don't know if the door is locked, I will circle the car 20 times. They desire absolute certainty in a world not designed for it.
My mind is much more akin to the anti-obsessed end of the spectrum, and the students with ADD following their names. However...
winter weather can creep into my brain and while my brain will flutter away from the thought it will come back and back and back. I want certainty that I will be safe, that I will not get stuck, that I will be able to park, that that that that...
One of the best treatments for OCD is the old prescription for fears..."get back on the horse."
It is called exposure and response prevention therapy... here is link to a book by an expert in the field , Jonathon Grayson
contamination--- touch a garbage dumpster and eat without washing. locked doors---- leave them unlocked on purpose. decisions--- flip a coin and admit to your self that it may have been the best or worst decision that you have ever made and move on. Feel the fear and anxiety and see that you can survive. No guarantees, remember this is not about certainty.
So Tuesday night I drove out into a winter weather advisory to do some yoga with a friend. Last night I drove out onto roads that only needed a degree or two drop to become black ice to attend the school's holiday party, and today is a big test. Facing your fears does not mean you won't get an infection, make a wrong decision, or get stuck in a snow bank in the Poconos, but it means you will have emptied yourself. And even though you feel the ritual is a treasure that protects you, releasing it from your life is realising it is not magic and is a release that can lead to greater joy, peace, and hope.
So there is the connection to the meditation. emptiness.
I won't drive out into a northeaster, but I may just be listening to jazz tonight instead of feeling I protected myself by staying home.