I haven't ever been very "good" at meditation. I don't mind this anymore, because I don't think I need to be "good" at it. I have loved studying Buddhist and Christian writings about it, learning what I can. They have been very helpful, but I am not studying a great deal of anything right now.
What I have noticed is that when things get rough within me emotionally, there is occasionally an awareness that comes from those meditation teachings. It happened this week: while I was taking a walk, I had the sense of my raucous emotions being like a couple of prize-fighters going at each other in a boxing ring. I thought, Well, when you guys are finished duking it out, let me know. I can't get in there with you. I'm too tired, and it won't do me any good; I'll just end up getting hurt. You are going to fight until you're done. Let me know when it's over.
You can tell from my recent postings that my emotions are very turbulent these days. It was kind of a relief to see them this way, from the standpoint of observer, rather than participant. One practice I recall learning in meditation is: sit -- as if you are on a river bank -- and watch your thoughts and emotions. Watch them, as if they are floating on the water as it moves along in front of you, and let them drift out of sight. Don't get in a boat and try to catch them; don't jump in the water with them as they float by. Let them arise, appear, and notice them without judgment...and let them go. Thoughts will appear and pass by many, many times. I haven't consciously practiced this in a long time.
I told Gregg about the image of the boxing ring today, and as I was telling him, I thought of a rugby scrum. Have you seen one? I don't understand it, but it looks like a bunch of huge, muddy guys grab each other and struggle together, until they fall over, or someone gets the ball, and then there might be some passing of the ball or a bit of running; then they break up. It is kind of entertaining to look at the chaos of my emotions and think of it this way. It takes some of the drama and negativity out of the situation, to be an observer.
Emotions pass. From what I can see, most everything passes...except love. Love lasts.