Reality check: You cannot change a situation or circumstance when you’re in the process of resisting it. Just as you can’t catch a beach ball if you’re holding another one in your hands, you can’t embrace something new until you let go of the old, stale, and painful reasons for and arguments about why things are the way they are. To be clear, I’m not saying that we should release everything to the wind, watching passively as the world and other people go by. Not at all. The opposite of control is not laziness or apathy. The opposite of control is acceptance. When you accept, when you give up the illusion of control, you not only discover the peace and freedom that come with it. You become — perhaps for the first time — truly empowered to handle any and everything that comes your way. Why? Because there’s no energy being dedicated to holding yourself back any longer. The emergency brake you’ve had on yourself and your life comes off, and you’re finally able to cruise forward with power, freedom, and the ability to express yourself fully and create in the world — a world that you now realize is filled with opportunity. So make peace with life. Accept yourself, others, and the world the way they are. Surrender to riding the waves instead of standing stubborn and still as they crash down upon you. When you do, the urge to control dissipates and freedom emerges. And along with it, the sense and eventually the knowledge that anything, and everything, is possible. Taken from “Giving Up Control” by Jennifer Hamady (Huffington Post) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-hamady/acceptance_b_2432159.html
Some people believe that holding on
and hanging there are signs of strength,
but there are times in life when it takes
much more strength just to let go.
There are fine things which you mean to do some day, under what you think will be more favorable circumstances. But the only time that is surely yours is the present, hence this is the time to speak the word of appreciation and sympathy, to do the generous deed, to forgive the fault of a thoughtless friend, to sacrifice self a little more for others. Today is the day in which to express your noblest qualities of mind and heart, to do at least one worthy thing which you have long postponed, and to use your God-given abilities for the enrichment of someone less fortunate. Today you can make your life – significant and worthwhile. The present is yours to do with as you will. Grenville Kleiser
Incredible change happens in your life
when you decide to take control
of what you do have power over
instead of craving control
over what you don’t.
Because children grow up, we think a child’s purpose is to grow up. But a child’s purpose is to be a child. Nature doesn’t disdain what lives only for a day. It pours the whole of itself into the each moment. We don’t value the lily less for not being made of flint and built to last. Life’s bounty is in its flow, later is too late. Where is the song when it’s been sung? The dance when it’s been danced? It’s only we humans who want to own the future, too. We persuade ourselves that the universe is modestly employed in unfolding our destination. From “The Coast of Utopia” by Tom Stoppard
Children aren’t coloring books.
You don’t get to fill them
with your favorite colors.
The past is a bottomless pit. No matter how far I fall into its depth there is no bottom; no sense to be made of it; no previously unknown reality to be found. Sometimes I yearn to forget the past, but could not be who I am without it. As I remember, it’s critical to acknowledge those memories are about who I ‘was’, not who I ‘am’ or ‘can be’. Yes, to a large degree I am a product of my past. However, as I man I am still moldable clay, not as pliable as I once was, but still with the ability to be shaped. It is my choice, and FULLY my choice, if I stay the same or not; whether I grow or not; whether I take responsibility for myself or continue to blame others and my circumstances. “There are no lessons to be learned from the past. This is the first thing I learned from it. There is nothing back then that there isn’t here now. There is nothing here now – nothing that matters – that wasn’t back then.” Tom Lichtenberg
I have learned that if you must leave a place
that you have lived in and loved
and where all your yesteryears are buried deep,
leave it any way except a slow way,
leave it the fastest way you can.
Never turn back and never believe
that an hour you remember
is a better hour because it is dead.
Given time everything changes. Things get better; things gets worse. Something is new and fresh; then it is old and worn out. Anytime it seems life has completely leveled out and all is well its easy for me to slip into the delusion this is the way things will always be. It’s just as delusional to believe that every difficult time, circumstance or happening will last forever. Nothing lasts forever. Every condition or occurrence is only for its time. The bad will fade as will the good, both in a waltz of constant change and contrast of existence and perception. Life is often far from what it is wished to be. It is that state of dissatisfaction which keeps many from enjoying the ride. The starting line for contentment is embracing “what is”.
Reality is that which,
when you stop believing in it,
doesn’t go away.
Philip K. Dick
Resentment is nothing more than compulsive attachment to a set of memories. If you peek through the window of the mind factory when you feel resentful, you would see the production line turning out the same emotion-charged memory over and over: “He did that to me in 1983, he did that to me in 1983…” You are dwelling on something that took place in the past – or, more likely, on how you misunderstood that event and reacted to your misunderstanding. When you keep pumping attention into an event this way, even a limp little memory gets blown up into a big balloon of hostility. If you can withdraw your attention, the balloon is deflated. There is nothing more to it. Brooding on memories not only serves no earthly purpose, it can go on until your mind is so filled with balloons that there is no room for the joy of living. From “Conquest of Mind” by Eknath Easwaran
To carry a grudge is like
being stung to death by one bee.
William H. Walton
In recent times I have come to realize I am too darn serious much of the time. Of course, I laugh at a good joke, flash a smile and interact with others. However, when left to myself the expression I exhibit is overly solemn, even grim I have been told. Once awareness of being this way began, sorting out why came soon after. Simply, I get wrapped up in thought, focused inwardly and far too often am “future-tripping” or “wallowing in the past” with little awareness in the present moment. When I allow myself to get caught up in either the “before or after of now” what comes is either some sort of fear or regret to pull me inside myself. I am learning to mentally say “stop doing it” and reset myself to the current moment when I need to and guess what: I am not just happier on the inside but am told I look it on the outside a lot more too!
Self is the only prison
that can ever bind the soul.
Henry Van Dyke
Wasting time has never been easy for me. Always I have felt if I’m awake I should be doing something: taking care of chores and things I need to do, gaining new knowledge or abilities or extending effort toward my dreams and goals. I have come to know that emotional and mental rest is critical to being content and enjoying life. The frenetic pace I used to maintain accomplished a lot, but was like eating food and barely tasting it. The realization came that was only existing and NOT living. Filling the space of my days with activity without ‘tasting the time’ is a sort of conscious sleepwalking. Being too busy will always be an old habit that refuses to completely die. However, I am fully capable now of, at least at times, letting time pass without any need for accomplishment. There is something amazingly fulfilling about being keenly aware and present in moments of time as they pass by. Now that’s living!
Awareness is the greatest alchemy there is.
Just go on becoming more and more aware,
and you will find your life changing
for the better in every possible dimension.
It will bring great fulfillment.
When getting caught up in thinking too much what might happen I often end up “future tripping”. It’s then that “borrowing trouble” begins and I take a course of action that causes me harm. The injury comes first from not being aware enough to fully live life in the present. Second I harm my future by clouding my very existance with an obsession about outcome. Certainly planning ahead and having a view of what I want my possible future to be like is healthy then to do. But when I am fixated on it I become the walking dead in the present. Repetition of thinking “if I’d only thought ahead, I wouldn’t have this problem now” created my bad habit. Realization that problems are just a normal part of life and not caused by a flaw within changed how much worry and fretting I live with. It still happens, but less and less all the time. Living well in the present is my best insurance of a good future.
Worry is a misuse of imagination.
What is remembered of the past is largely a delusion and only a twisted representation of what actually went on. Thoughts focused on the future are mostly illusionary and will rarely turn out the way one imagines. The only true reality is this moment; the NOW. Life happens here and no place else. Want a better past and a brighter future? Live ‘now’ well and soon the future will become more of what you hope for and the recent past will begin to be one you are proud of. We each are the architect and builder of our life.
One problem with gazing too frequently
into the past is that we may turn around
to find the future has run out on us.