I’m learning to see. I don’t know why it is, but everything penetrates into me more deeply and doesn’t stop at the place where, until now, it always used to end. I have an inner life that I didn’t know about. Everything goes there now. I don’t know what happens there.
– The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
“God, when you get old, forgiveness is so important. And you know, the reason that I can be articulate about my life is because I spent so long researching myself” — she sniffles, laughs — “and you can say, Well, that’s really narcissistic, and maybe it is! But I really believe in the importance of an examined life, of an intentional life.”
~ Jane Fonda
“Somebody, your father or mine, should have told us that not many people have ever died of love. But multitudes have perished, and are perishing every hour — and in the oddest places! — for the lack of it.”
James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room
Equanimity means looking at things objectively like a scientist should, rather than emotionally. We know that scientists should be objective about their work, because if they are emotional, then they are likely to see things which are not there and miss things that are there. If a scientist badly wants a specific result (to be right; self-fulfilling prophecy), he or she is much more likely to make such mistakes. We do the same thing when we badly want something.
EXAMPLE: A woman who has been in and out of a number of relationships and each one of her partners was supposed to be the answer to her dreams. This woman is addicted to falling in love and imagines she will be truly happy with the next man she meets. She will fall wild in love again. She is so desperate to have her dream fulfilled that she does not really see her partners for what they are, only for the ways in which they meet her dream. She is shocked when she is forced to realize each time that her partners were not what she had thought they were. Eventually, the woman stops to investigate what “the dream”is all about. She wants love, but has not been skilled at recognizing it. Learning equanimity will be a big part of her being able to see potential partners in both their good and bad aspects. She becomes less and less desperate for a relationship; to prove she is ok. She begins to choose her partners with more wisdom.
When we find ourselves feeling angry, or needy, or desperately wanting something, or depressed, or jealous, or whatever, then equanimity is the way to step aside from these emotions.
That is what equanimity does: It looks at the pain without exaggerating its effects and consequences. It takes a balanced view
— chönyi taylor, ENOUGH!
—Mitch Albom, For One More Day