Dealing With the Way Things Are – Changing Your BUT to an AND
Some of the things that get in our way are:
- We focus on the “shoulds” instead of the what is. By getting attached to what should have happened instead of the reality, we give away our ability to reason and act effectively. “It shouldn’t be raining in Sedona, it never rains here, we’re going to have a miserable time, our vacation is ruined.” And…it probably will be.
- We make a quick exit when the going gets tough. Often when we are in the midst of a situation that is painful, draining, or tough, we make a run for it. We leave the scene so we don’t have to deal with the pain. Emotional maturity is developing and flexing the muscles that allow us to stay, endure, and deal with a situation – to do the “heavy lifting” . Why bother? Well, we get strong, and the opportunity to author our own life.
- We also apply judgment. Suspend the desire, the need, to apply judgment to every situation that doesn’t go our way. For instance, although you may be lamenting how BAD it is that it’s raining in Sedona while you are vacation, it might be GOOD for nature, the trees and wildlife to get the needed water. It’s not all about you.
- We let abstractions become our reality. Let’s just say you have “experienced” two back-to-back rainy vacations – your reality becomes “every time we go on vacation it rains”. Wallowing in this kind of thinking paralyzes us in living our lives to the fullest and experiencing every moment as it is….fully.
By the way, I really did go on a trip to Sedona in the rain. We hiked 5 miles to our campsite…in the rain. We set up tents…in the rain. We were miserable…in the rain. And then, something happened – well, it did for me anyway, I decided I wanted to have a good time. I accepted the situation for what it was…because, like it or not, it was raining! We swam, went on exploration hikes, played games, laughed at the great stories we would tell at future parties about this crazy weekend, and even crafted a make-shift awning for ourselves to protect our fire. Just as we decided to accept our fate, the rain stopped, and the sunshine smiled on us.