It’s really seductive to think life will begin when things calm down, or you have a different job, or find the right person, or move into a new house or drive a different car, or have more money, or lose ten pounds. As if happiness is conditional, and if you can just get it all “right”, you’ll solve the equation. The thing is, life is going to keep coming with all of its ups and downs; it’s a flow, it doesn’t stop. And it’s happening right now, this very instant, this is your life. The flow can feel like waves crashing down over you, and sometimes you may feel like you’re treading water, or being pulled under by strong currents, or thrown up against the rocks. There are going to be circumstances you’re hoping for, and some that will break your heart open, mercilessly, blindingly, with no notice on a Friday morning or a Tuesday morning like any other, or at anytime, really.
Thinking that things will calm down or be different in the future is a delusion. YOU may be different, but life will never bend to meet your will. There are always challenges, and you’re a human being, so you will always feel all kinds of emotions: joy, fear, elation, depression, frustration, giddiness, shame, excitement, doubt, embarrassment, hope, guilt, curiosity, despair, contentment, gratitude and love. Since you can’t control the tides of the ocean any more than you can control the circumstances you’ll be dealing with in this life, you may as well work on becoming more responsive to them, and less reactive. Reality has no obligation to meet your expectations, hopes or plans. If you allow yourself to be swayed by external factors, feeling happy when things are going the way you’d like, and miserable when they aren’t, you’re allowing yourself to become a victim of circumstance, and there’s just no power in that.
Reactivity comes out of fear and control. Things don’t go as planned, and we wave our fists in the air, or feel sorry for ourselves, or lash out at those closest to us. We want things to go a particular way, we have a plan we’re working, and when life throws a monkey wrench in those plans we feel angry or scared or frustrated, thrown for a loop, or lost at sea, or we shut down completely. Responsiveness comes out of love and truth. Unwanted things happen and we allow the feelings of heartache or disappointment or rage or grief or fear to wash over us and through us. We don’t flail and try to push back the tides. We just swim and know that the sun will peek out from behind the clouds at some point, and one day it will blind us once again with all its power and brilliance and light. We accept the stormy weather when it comes, we treat our scrapes and bruises if we’re thrown into the rocks, we find some sandbar to rest on when necessary, and when the clouds part and the sun shines and the birds chirp once again, we open to that as well. We say, thank you, this is so gorgeous. Life is a mysterious, miraculous experience, it’s not a problem to be solved. The more you resist and fight and lash out, the more exhausted and defeated you’ll become. And the more you open and accept and breathe, the smoother the ride. You can move through this life clinging to your ideas about how things should go or look or be, or you can let go of the should, and move through your life with an open mind, and open heart, open eyes and open hands. I really recommend the latter. Sending you so much love, Ally