Condor Sparks

This quote from Teresa of Ávila resonates strongly with me. Why is it that some days, even near calamities just roll off your back and others, reading the slightest negativity in body language from a person with whom you are interacting can throw you off your game? What is different about those times?

Have you never observed this yourselves? I certainly have: sometimes I think I am extremely detached, and, in fact, when it comes to the test, I am; yet at other times I find I have such attachment to things which the day before I should perhaps have scoffed at that I hardly know myself. At some other time I seem to have so much courage that I should not quail at anything I was asked to do in order to serve God, and, when I am tested, I find that I really can do these things. And then on the next day I discover that I should not have the courage to kill an ant for God’s sake if I were to meet with any opposition about it. Sometimes it seems not to matter in the least if people complain or speak ill of me, and, when the test comes, I still feel like this — indeed, I even get pleasure from it. And then there come days when a single word distresses me and I long to leave the world altogether, for everything in it seems to weary me. And I am not the only person to be like this, for I have noticed the same thing in many people better than myself, so I know it can happen.

I feel like there is a way to break out of the affective inconsistencies that plague our temperaments. We certainly have the capability to be firmly rooted instead of being tossed here and there like a ship in a passing gale. However, if even someone who boldly uttered the phrase, Lord, either let me suffer or let me die” was subject to such emotional volatility, what hope is there for the rest of us?

This post, from Leo at Zen Habits, has some helpful insights on trusting ourselves, which could help to stabilize our responses to things.


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