Everyday we are faced with problems. Some are as benign as making sure to use the restroom when we are out and about. Some are full-fledged issues that required our full attention. Then there are the problems that haunt us day after day like the time we spend at work instead of our family, sexual frustration with our significant other, or knowing where our next temporary home will be. Problems arise out of our perception. We suffer when our expectations or unconscious assumptions differ from the world around us and the people we interact with. To paraphrase what Morpheous said in the move Matrix Reloaded, “What happens, happens and can not happen any other way.”
Expecting things to be different than what they are creates stress and strain on our egos, psyches and physical energy. We find ourselves at odds with the world around us. People are just people. The situations unfolding in our lives are a result of the complex interactions of all elements in our environment: the people, other’s expectations of us, our expectations of others, physical reality, long-standing patterns, beliefs and most importantly uncertainty. Life is uncertain. We seek certainty through knowing, religion, philosophy, science or self-control in our actions. Uncertainty remains no matter how many beliefs we nail down or actions we take to satisfy the need of others or ourselves. Herein lies the crux or our problems. If we don’t allow things to be as they are along with the inherent uncertainty, we separate ourselves from what’s happening. The degree of our separation is proportional to our worry, stress and strife.
Accepting things as they are without expecting them to be different brings us that much closer to what’s happening around us. Little by little our experience reconnects with factual reality. Stress tells us that somewhere in ourselves we have disconnected with the world around us. The point is to see the world for what it is and not as we expect it to be. So on a day-to-day basis if we can simply enjoy the uncertainty, know what we expect of life and allow things to be as they are, our problems transform into opportunities.
This is easier said than done. What tool can we use to facilitate this transformation? Tune in next time to read what one approach looks like.