Reality Is Not The Source Of Your Unhappiness
“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Why do we wish away the present moment, hoping for something better? Our inattentiveness creates anguish and disappointment, because we’re certain when we get what we want, we’ll be happy. Yet, when it arrives, there’s another desire waiting to take its place. We’re in the business of wanting more, since it’s human nature to seek what is lacking in our lives. The problem is, we become fixated on wanting and desiring, instead of appreciating what is before us. Hence, the cycle of suffering ensues.
If we consider the present moment as perfect, what is meant to be will find its way into our lives effortlessly. To accept this moment means to appreciate our present circumstances result from past thoughts and actions. I’m not suggesting we abandon our desires, rather consider them in a new light. Have you noticed when you hope for something, it seldom occurs as you expect? However, the moment you surrender, it makes its way into your life with little worry. Therefore, most fears stem from expecting life to develop in a particular way. When it fails to materialise, we experience disappointment. Surely there’s a better way?
It was Albert Einstein who once said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” Our distorted thoughts are the source of our problems, so we ought to transform them to create a better outcome. We cannot change outside circumstances to please us, so we must change our response to the events. Reality is not the source of our unhappiness because reality is constantly changing. When outside conditions are not to our liking, we are less than satisfied. What if it is possible to reinterpret the unpleasant events of our life? In other words, every event has the potential to teach us something about our life story. It conveys the wisdom to create a compelling narrative if we acknowledge our circumstances with openness.
Whether you’re a determinist, a fatalist or believe in free will, there’s an inherent order to life devoid of our control. Speak to anyone who’s been in a motor vehicle accident and they’ll tell you their world was uprooted in the blink of an eye. Life can change at the drop of a hat, so we ought to be attentive to what we value most. What is meant to be invites you to let go of the mental struggle that opposes the natural flow of life. Is this something you’re willing to embrace? I assure you; life is based on an organising system, even if it doesn’t appear that way sometimes. What you regard as chaos and disorder is a process unfolding as it should, so the pieces can come together at the right time.
Everything Happens For A Reason
“The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.” — Steve Maraboli
Not that you need my assurance, but I offer it regardless: life knows what it’s doing. I know you may find it difficult to grasp when caught up in unpleasant conditions. Yet life proceeds regardless of your resistance to it. Through your willingness to embrace your conditions, however painful, you consent to be a co-creator to the experience of life. Looking back on your life, you’ve no doubt faced setbacks and found your way through them? You developed courage and a compelling inner resolve that firmed your character. Chaos and disorder often precipitate major change, which gives birth to something wonderful. I remind you of the big bang responsible for creating the universe. Moreover, your arrival in this world is attributed to a similar event. Your birth-mother no doubt underwent protracted labour to give life to the person you call “I.” From agony arises creation and so with our pain. Irrespective of your conception, your birth is a miraculous testimony that life has your back.
I admire the passage by the respected psychotherapist David Richo who writes: “To say yes to this given is to trust that the universe has a plan for us and that things are unfolding in this life just in time for us to grow into the beings we were meant to be. This is the Buddhist concept of karma as meaningful coincidence. Our own plans are based on our limited knowledge. The fact that things happen beyond our control and lead us to new vistas means that grace has come into play.” Everything happens for a reason, yet we may not be privy to the reasons until the entire picture is formed. Sometimes, we don’t realise it in this lifetime. Yet, we can take comfort in a greater intelligence guiding every facet of our life and the billions of people on this planet. How do we allow fate to find its way into our life without despairing?
We trust that life supports our needs and will continue to do so as long as we maintain faith. It may not unfold how we imagine it, but we must believe in this benevolent force, regardless. We trust in the heart’s language and sense our way through life. So, when a condition arises that does not match our mental picture, we move into our heart and consider the greater lesson contained within the experience. Life is self-serving because you are the embodiment of life. The universe expresses itself through you, since it cannot perceive the material realm without a user. You are the user and the experiencer, ushering life through you. So, stop wishing away the present moment, hoping for something better, and be attentive to your surroundings. After all, what is meant to be will always find a way into your life, whether or not you consent to it.