Being With What IS

The conversation this week seems to be moving toward being with what IS.  We often set up expectations or have a vision of how things should be and then the universe does its thing.  I always loved the Yiddish quote, “Man plans, God laughs.” This weekend the joke was on me as I had to deal with a couple of unexpected turns of events with a time sensitive impact.

It doesn’t matter what the issue is the process is always the same

At first there is a contraction in the body as the mind is trying to grasp why things are not working out the way I wanted and expected them to.  Then there is an attempt to rethink it and see if there is anything I can do to change the reality so that it could still meet my expectations.  Then there is a desire to pretend that it is really not what it looks like and it will turn out the way I want in the time line that I want. Then there is a sinking feeling of nooooo, it is not going to turn out the way I want.  Then depending on the issue, there may be frustration, sadness or anger as I resist accepting the inevitable truth.   Finally, I arrive at the sobering truth, surrendering to what IS.

Fortunately I have had so much practice with “disappointment” that, now, I move through the full process and get to surrender within a few minutes (though it doesn’t get much easier, only faster). The cool thing is that as soon as I surrender I get in touch with the truth of the moment: I am not in charge of this universe!  I may think I know what’s best and how things should be, but at the end of the day, I need to trust that things are unfolding exactly as they need to unfold.  Allowing ourselves to be with what IS invites us to examine our assumptions and our plans, and ultimately opens us up to discover different, and often, better opportunities.

From psychological and spiritual perspectives, accepting all that life brings to us and then choosing what we constructively want to do about it is a mark of emotional maturity and a peaceful soul.

Think of a time when you were attached to something turning out a certain way?  How did you respond: resistant and complaining, or accepting and flowing?  How did it turn out in the long run?

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One Comment on “Being With What IS”

  • 29 January, 2012,

    I think our resistance to what IS stems from our attachments to outcomes. This in turn of course relates back to need we have to remain in our comfort zones. It is a simple reality that to ever move outside of comfort is to take risks, and risk taking behaviors will always include failures as well as successes.

    To accept what IS, is also to surrender what we want from life (or what we thought we wanted), and to need to continually adapt to situations we are unfamiliar with and, more importantly,  unprepared for.

    Since we all have differing perspectives on life there is no one way for all of use to learn to deal with what IS. That being said, for some, learning to accept what IS cannot happen until we first gain enough confidence in ourselves and accept that we CAN adapt to the unknown. Until we learn that we can prepare ourselves for the unexpected and that frequent failures are part of the recipe for healthy growth.

    For many of us, without believing in ourselves and our capacity to meet challenge, what IS is simply a threat to be avoided at all costs.

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