For some people this quest takes a lifetime, it’s a genuine chase, a pursuit, but for others, it seems like at any moment, they are completely content and peaceful, comfortable in any zone and with any issue. What is this massive rocky equilibrium? What can we use to bridge that great divide?
You may have heard the expression “the one thing in life that messes us up the most is our image of how it’s meant to be”. This I think, is the closest thing in the world to being the one and only answer to everything
Our whole lives, whether we are 21, like me, 40 or 60 or 90, we chase pictures. We are chained to our comforting memories and opinions. This way, we permit ourselves never to change, allow ourselves to be the same person, no matter how physically old we become.
And it’s not our fault we are creatures of habit, this is just the way we are, the important thing is to re-learn all those things that are now tripping you up. All those hard-wired ideas that now stop you from being the person you need to be. As one of my friends put it, you will trade the perfect right now because you are terrified about the poor past or future. And this is a famous algorithm, and most people will recognise it.
We need to move on from these pre-written patterns, so that forever we are not just narrators in our page-turning life story.
So how do we challenge this? How do we loosen the ropes on the anchors to those contemptible familiarities? In my opinion, it’s about concerning ourselves with three ideals.
1. G-d runs the world.
Let go, it’s ok, just for a moment a day. There is a higher plan, even if you can’t see it or feel it, it’s there, like plenty of other things you can’t tangibly see or feel. Even if you have trouble with not being in control…know in the back of your mind. It’s ok that way.
2. Face up to your feelings
Let go, it’s ok, just for a moment a day. A lady on a plane once told me “we aren’t scared of situations, we are scared of how we might feel in situations”. This is powerful, if we decide that we will live in balance and not always react the same way we always have (see Einstein on insanity) then we can change whether we approach things or not and how we make that approach. When you are next not buried in music or work, and you truly have yourself to yourself, ask yourself what it is that worries you, and take it apart.
3. Your opinions are flexible and will adapt
Let go, it’s ok, just for a moment a day. One of my favourite mishnayos in Avos (fathers) is in Chapter 4 Mishnah 3, “Do not scorn any man, and do not discount anything. For there is no man who has not his hour, and no thing that has not its place.”
Any grown up recognises that although there is need to be strong and insistent in some things, in most things it depends! That expression “it depends” should be our motto in life…Although there are rules and guides and good advices…at the end of the day different situations require different answers. Let not our pre-dispositions weigh us down in dealing with people or places..Or things…Change is often good.
Breathe….and find that peace and contentedness we are all so longing for