Relating With Weather Fronts and Storm Clouds From Awareness

The ways in which we respond to our own challenging and often difficult thoughts and feelings, as well as to those of others, is both a hallmark and test of our maturity. However, it is not uncommon that a mood may overcome us, momentarily interrupting or even sabotaging our relationships with those we care about the most.
Pretty much anyone can develop the maturity to negotiate these emotional weather fronts and storm clouds if there is the intention to do so and have an emotionally stable and rewarding relationship even in the most difficult of times. Otherwise, we are held hostage to our own beliefs that our partners or spouses should be the way that we want them to be.
Recently, the field of spirituality, as well as psychology has focused on this subject of developing an internal maturity, as one that is most relevant to our important relationships. Adyashanti, a well-known teacher, who has taught meditation to well over 10,000 people over the past 20 years, and Loch Kelly, an LCSW and a leader in the field of non-duality, who is both a psychotherapist and spiritual teacher, have each coined terms such as “emotional weather fronts” and “storm clouds” to describe the chaos that may permeate our everyday minds during, especially during difficult and challenging moments.
Both Adyashanti and Loch Kelly suggest that by paying attention to awareness itself, we are able actually to awaken or “get a foot in the door of enlightenment” (Adyashanti), in which a shift of our very identity naturally occurs. That doesn’t mean that we assume the identity of another person. Not at all. Rather, we realize that by becoming aware of our thoughts and feelings and paying attention not only to the content of those thoughts and feelings, but by paying attention to awareness itself, “the context,” as Adyashanti has called it and taught in his course, “The Way of Liberating Insight,” we, eventually, may realize that it is actually only our awareness that is being aware of itself. After all, what could be paying attention to awareness other than awareness? Moreover, we may realize that since our awareness is always there and always accessible to us if only we put our attention on it, then it is an intrinsic aspect of who we actually are. Therein lies the shift of identity. Instead of locating our identity in our concept of our “self”, we realize through direct experience that we are that awareness. Since awareness stands prior to any concept we have of our self, of who we believe ourselves to be, we eventually realize that awareness must be a fundamental aspect of what we are, in essence.
We realize with eyes of clarity that our partner, our spouse, or our own self may be living through an emotional weather front or storm cloud, and like all-weather fronts and storm clouds, they eventually pass by. At that point, we are no longer held hostage by those weather systems. We realize the saying: “This, too, shall pass.” In that moment of recognition, any susceptibility to our own negative mood falls away – the clouds part – and we are able to relate respectfully and actually empathically with one another. We have separated our true identity as awareness from those storm clouds and emotional weather fronts. Loch Kelly has gone so far as to write, in his book “Shift Into Freedom” that: “Then as the open sky, you can include the stormy contents of the cloud, while remaining open.”
Even without recognizing ourselves as awareness, in essence, when we are able to actually observe, witness, and be aware of our difficult feelings, rather than identify with them, we are not governed by hurt feelings or any sense of anxiety, and instead, just see feelings as arising and falling, coming, and going. Then, it is quite effortless and natural to speak respectfully with a sense of aliveness. We just respond to whatever feelings that may arise in ourselves or in others, intimately, and are able to name them and be aware of them with a measure of internal calm. Cultivating this calm may take some practice.
Realizing what we are may involve a certain kind of dedication to living from a sense of true curiosity, developing a daily orientation and daily exercise of paying attention to awareness, and a practice of this, as well.
Either way, by responding with a sense of calm, we both calm ourselves and transmit that calm to those around us – especially to our partner or spouse. We “pay it forward,” so to speak. In doing so, we relate effectively and even compassionately with others, because we are aware of their perspective, not just our own.
In doing so, we make a real contribution to the world around us.