When I was first starting my meditation practice, I complained to my guide that I get distracted and frustrated by little noises I hear and tune into like a dog barking or the sound of a passing vehicle. I was told for me to truly get to where I needed to go that I needed to be an observer. It took me years to utterly understand what that entails.
Consider that there are times in our lives that we are not meant to do anything. Sometimes just being present and being a witness to something tragic can be one of the most difficult things we ever encounter, especially when people we love are hurting. I have a propensity to try to fix things and seeing family or friends in pain, physical or emotional, is torturous. The underlying truth is that as much as I don’t want to admit it, not everything is about me, and even more difficult is that I don’t have the power to control most aspects of my own life, much less someone else’s. It is a form of freedom to not have to be responsible to fix everything all the time. I must be mindful that in order to be emotionally available to lean on, I need to be grounded. This doesn’t mean that I can’t have my own emotions, but I need to be present in the moment for it to mean anything to someone in pain. Sometimes for me, that just means being accessible and quiet.
Knowing my limitations is a form of freedom that relinquishes my energy to be used where it can be effective. When others are struggling, and I feel the urge to own their pain, meditation and intent are key for my balance. As a result of practicing these aspects, today, when I do meditate, I intuitively understand that the dog barking is an animal just playing his role in the universe and the passing car just another traveler on his journey, and I do not have to take it personal.