I really wanted to repost this one because it really goes to the heart of things. We are always being sold the opposite, that we can only experience peace and happiness if everything is exactly the way we want it. I used to test this out years ago, looking at my levels of happiness when I had nothing and comparing them when I had more. Then for years I struggled with pain, I still do. The amazing thing is that I know I live just as richly, I can enjoy life just as much with pain. Life can become pretty miserable though when I fight it, when I resist it’s there in the first place. The same goes for many other everyday things though as this brief post suggests. The irony is that most of us end up creating all these arbitrary conditions around our happiness – the house has to be perfect, I must have X amount in my bank account, everyone has to treat me in a special way, I have to be in perfect health – you name it. You can challenge this by looking at all the happiness you experience in spite of the imperfections. It’s about dissolving the illusion of control that we grip onto so tightly. This makes me think of the iconic image of the beautiful lotus flower rising out of a muddy pond.
- The Illusion of Control (psychologytoday.com)
We all know the top hit of the ego’s silent soundtrack — “If I do this I’ll feel better.” Seeing through our own particular version of this is part of the process of waking up. Again, the essence of this entitlement is the assumption that we can make ourselves, and life, be the way we want them to be. But this can only bring disappointment. Why? Because no matter what we do, there’s no way that we can guarantee a life that is free of problems.
Perhaps the most basic belief underlying all of our feelings of entitlement, our “if onlies,” and even our illusions, is the belief that life should please us, that life should be comfort-able. All of our resistance to life is rooted in our wanting life to be pleasing, comfortable, and safe. When life doesn’t give us what we want—the job that isn’t satisfying, the relationship…
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