I’m learning about equanimity today. According to Wikipedia, it is:
Equanimity (Latin: æquanimitas having an even mind; aequus even animus mind/soul) is a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind. The virtue and value of equanimity is extolled and advocated by a number of major religions and ancient philosophies.
What does that all mean anyways? For me, it is almost impossible to retain a balance of mind regardless of what is going around me. I am like a ship lost at sea most of the time. I am being tossed here and there by the tides of emotion. I have yet to find my safe harbour.
Equanimity for me, then, is starting or being where I am in this moment. I am ‘equanimed’ – restful and at peace at this moment. I am sitting here, in my lovely sun room, sipping tea. Sheba is laying on her bed, licking her paws. The sky is that steely grey with hints of sun shining through. It doesn’t look friendly. The morning’s feel reminds me that it was this time of year that my father had his quintuple bypass a few years ago.
What a time that was! When you are faced with a serious illness, whether it is yours or someone in your family, your whole life does flash through your mind….the good, bad and the ugly, the real and unreal…..all the undealt issues. I thought I was going to die from it all. But I didn’t.
My mother was a perfect picture of equanimity through it all. The only telltale sign of her stress was this flush of her cheeks. She was the stalwart for my father. Though her English was what she considered poor, she watched and understood the education video for his surgery. She was the one who helped him before and after the surgery. It was my fascination to watch my mother through all this.
I can still see her in CCU after my father came out of surgery. I could see her amid the machinery and monitors. I see her so still, taking everything in with her eyes, looking at her husband, taking account and asking questions. She still had very much presence of mind even at that moment. When I think equanimity, I think of my mother.