I looked it up (on-line, of course) to make sure I had a good, solid, dictionary-sounding definition:
Equanimity: mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.
This is something I do not possess. Not even a little bit. Especially in a difficult situation.
I have been meaning to acquire it, of course, at the suggestion of my spiritual director, who mentioned that he tries to cultivate it in himself.
It’s difficult to train one’s physiological responses, and mine go off the charts when I am in a confrontational situation – no matter how minor! Recently, I’ve noticed that as soon as I start to perceive conflict, my head begins to throb. It’s the blood pressure. It’s like the cartoons where the guy gets mad, gets red in the face, and then his top blows off. Mine doesn’t blow off…but the pressure is painful.
Not only do I get upset when the confrontation begins, I get upset at the thought of a potential confrontation.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
I pray that often, and have tried to make it a part of my soul for years. When I start to get upset, I pray it some more. Out loud. Faster and faster…in a panic, you might say.
I need to get a handle on this.
Deep, cleansing breaths.
Or, put more simply, as my spiritual director sometimes has to tell me, “BREATHE!”