Life Should Be Different!
When I listen to the litany of unhappy thoughts in my head some days, many of them are all about what should be different. Things like: life shouldn’t be so stressful. We should get a break for a change. I and/or other people aren’t feeling or doing what they should. Bad things shouldn’t happen. The list could go on and on, and I bet you’ve experienced some of your own variations.
So all this wanting things to be different is resistance of the present moment. We can stay stuck in it and make an enemy of what’s happening in the present moment, or we can choose to become friendly with it. (I admit, this isn’t always easy!)
Eckhart Tolle says, “The present moment is inseparable from life, so you are really deciding what kind of a relationship you want to have with life…welcome it [the present moment] no matter in what disguise it comes, and soon you will see the results. Life becomes friendly toward you…”
Tolle reminds us that when we’re acting from the mindset of the “needy little me whose needs are not being met” we see only lack around us rather than the good. It’s helpful to change our focus to giving—especially whatever we feel is missing from our lives. He suggests asking ourselves, “What can I give here; how can I be of service to this person, this situation?”
This changes our focus to what we do have and what we can give, rather than focusing on what’s lacking.
Jack Kornfield suggests when we’re clinging to thoughts caused by “fear and the small sense of self,” we can practice looking at these thoughts and questioning the story our mind is telling us. For example, “What if some of the opposite was also true?”
These unhappy thoughts and stories are not serving us, and they may even be exaggerated or false. When we examine them with compassion for ourselves, we can let the thoughts go and our heart can rest. No matter our outer circumstance, we only make things feel worse by filling our minds with unhappy and fearful stories. The present moment is as it is, regardless of how hard we fight it. When we start by being friendly to the present moment and to ourselves, and we bring loving kindness to heal our heart, we grow stronger and more peaceful. Rather than feeling we’re under attack, we can connect to the support of Universal Love and give ourselves to life once again.
Here are some affirmations that may be helpful reminders:
I no longer fight against what is; I open my heart to loving kindness, peace, and a friendly relationship with the present moment. Even as I work to make positive changes in my life, I appreciate the good I see around me.
I look for opportunities to be of service to people and situations.
I bring compassion into my heart, letting go of unkind and fearful thoughts.