“Ninety-nine percent of what bothers you is about you. Ninety-nine percent of what bothers others has nothing to do with you.”
Deborah Adele, excerpt from The Yamas & Niyamas; chapter on “Svadhyaya” (Self-Study)
Adele’s words carry a punch that quickly brings us to a reality check…IF we’re willing to be curious about our current viewpoints. I find this quote freeing because it helps me see how I am holding on to so many things that are not truly necessary: Adele’s pointed words inspire me to examine more deeply the beliefs underlying WHY I feel I must be in charge of so many things.
Is that “Control” I see lurking behind those kinds of thoughts?
I never thought of myself as a controlling person…until I read this. And I am now beginning to realize it’s not necessarily my outward actions that I need to examine here. It’s what’s going on inside with my thoughts.
Of course we all would love to be in control! We’d choose all the “right” weather, the most uplifting responses from our loved ones, the smoothest quickest traffic, optimal health, more impressive talents, copious positive feelings…(I think you know how to add on here, so have at it!)
But I see too that if we’re so busy choosing and orchestrating everything, feeling frustrated and stressed and even victimized when things didn’t quite match our “Control Template”, we eventually find we are actually losing control of the one gift we DO have:
Our present moment.
Our Past and our Future only hold power through the attention we give them.
But NOW…is the only point in time that anything can be observed, evaluated and changed.
And not only do we have to Pause to do that…we need to choose to do so on a regular basis, not just sporadically.
So consider this: what will be happening if MY idea of what is “just right” doesn’t quite match someone else’s? Doesn’t quite match what is happening right now?
What response do I typically choose:
With any of those, I’m going to be experiencing some level of upset, usually resulting in a mixture of mayhem mentally, emotionally and/or physically.
Do I really want to keep repeating choices that invoke such mayhem?
We’ve all been there.
We plan this or that.
Expect this or that.
And then life will go and hand us…
Exactly “NOT What We Wanted”.
So wrong, right?
We wish people and situations to be different and we just KNOW we (and others) would have been happier if things were just a bit different…if only OUR plan had come to be, instead of what did happen.
And yet…as I Pause…that idea really doesn’t make sense.
It’s a “too many chefs in the kitchen” equation, with everyone’s expectations simultaneously desired.
Nothing would EVER work out ALL the time.
And isn’t that the definition of Life…of the “Reality” that so often marches right up and hands us what we DIDN’T want?
So I’m thinking…
Okay…maybe the way things are set up is the only way our world COULD work. The variety, the contrast, the ups and downs, the successes and disappointments…it’s all a “wholistic” smorgasbord of infinite available possibilities.
So HOW in the world can we prepare for times when things do not fit in with what we believe and want…
Because things WILL go awry.
But does this mean we just have to accept being “unmoored”, subject to everything that comes our way…and therefore unable to direct our own lives?
IS there an alternative?
Join me in Part Two to explore further.