The weather today is overcast and cold. We could be talking of a mood here. Someone’s mood is gloomy, and they feel lonely. The weather is a useful metaphor for our emotional states. Sometimes the weather is stormy, cold, blisteringly hot, sunny, overcast, balmy, windy. And similarly, we can be in emotional states that are stormy, alienated, passionate, bright and breezy, gloomy, relaxed or hasty.
The key idea here is that we are watching. We do not control the weather, and despite our illusions of control, we do not control our emotional states. The emotions are our immediate and real response to the environment. If someone tells you that you are the most attractive and charming person they have ever met, there is no way you will not feel flattered and uplifted – and this response will happen in an instant. Similarly, if a person near to you says you are a disgusting, uncouth pig, you will without a doubt feel deflated and possibly angry. Again the response will be immediate.
As I’ve mentioned many times in podcasts and various blog postings, all our emotions go back to a single root – the desire to exist, and with as much power as possible. When someone insults you there is no way you can feel uplifted by that, your power has been diminished, even if only slightly. It would be wholly wrong to try and pretend that our emotional state is other than it is. In fact, the very act of resisting an emotional state usually makes it worse.
Back to weather watching. Just as we would not pretend that a stormy day with strong winds and driving rain is a day we could sit out and sunbathe, so a day when we are full of anger or hurt (almost the same thing) is not a day we should try and meditate or attempt any other action that requires inner calm. We should weather watch instead. Apparently, life makes its own demands, and we cannot snarl back at our loved ones just because our football team lost, but we can at least be honest about our internal state and watch it. We can also modify our life according to the weather (emotional states), so we are in tune with how we feel.
Everything depends on the weather. Our conditioning would have us go into denial about how we feel. “Cheer up” might have been the command from parents if we experienced a grumpy mood when young. Happily, we grow into adults that do not have to listen to the unreasonable demands of others. But there is a strange twist in this tale. If we can merely weather watch, without any attempt to try and pretend the weather is other than it is, we often find that the weather becomes less intense. By not resisting it, we are not feeding it.
I enjoy weather watching, both literally and metaphorically. If I’m grumpy – I’m cranky. If I feel relaxed and in a good mood, then that is how I am. I thoroughly recommend weather watching – it’s a fascinating hobby.